He turns the page of Sandman
in his small, hardened hands.
It's eight o'clock on a Saturday night
and he's flipping through the pages of a comic
as if it were a work of art.

Left hand fingers up the spine
while the right hand fingers flip,
lick the tips, slide,
and flip.
He smiles to himself between the
lick, slide, flip.

My husband must have grown tired of waiting
on our wet-dog worn couch
as I put on my makeup.
Restless, as I yelled from the bathroom,
"I'll be ready in a second," but minutes later
still not there.

No one, especially me, believes emphatically in
the flawless and perfect partner.
But I can see what intrigues me so—
the way his stomach spills over his jeans
as he scratches his crotch with one hand,
his other busy cradling the precious printed pages;
the slender, stroking fingers,
with the gnarled finger nails.

by N. Joy Lutton

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N. Joy Lutton is a beer-brewing, vegan runner who lives in Tacoma, WA. She served as Managing Editor of Arroyo Literary Review, Vol II. Her fiction has appeared in The Short Humour Site, 50 to 1, Girls with Insurance, and Kerouac's Dog.