Jason Mosser. Time Beforetime.

26 Nov


What is the word, or is there one, I wonder,
as my wife rouges her cheeks, sips white wine,
and I mix whiskey and water,
the word for this indeterminate period we spend
getting ready to go out for the evening?
What is this lacuna? This present that,
nothing in itself, exists solely as prologue
to an imminent future.

It’s pretentious to say “pre-prandial”
because nobody knows what it means,
which is why nobody uses the phrase,
and shouldn’t it be as common as “cocktails”?

And it’s not happy hour, too intimate;
here, it’s just me & my soul mate.
And it’s not quite cocktails either.
Cocktails are drinks at the bar,
in a restaurant, waiting for a table,
or cocktails are what we’ll have later
with our friends after dinner.
No one says, “As I told my wife over
cocktails in the bedroom….” Sure,
you can say we’re having cocktails,
but it’s not about what we’re drinking
that I’m thinking, it’s about where and when.

It’s like before a play, with the actors
putting on make-up and costumes,
preening & psyching themselves.
Then it’s curtain call. One final
“How do I look?” “Fabulous, doll.”
Then we exit the dressing room
and enter, stage left, our scene, our city.

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