The Lucky Penny

Laura Reed

Once I was drinking at The Lucky Penny
with a woman named Becky.
We waited tables together.
She was small but could carry those big trays
that hold six plates.
Becky took me to bars where I never went
on my own. But this bar
was where I used to drink in college.
So I sat down next to my girl self
on a wobbly stool.
She looked like she was just playing
at sorrow. When she asked if she could
just go to his apartment to see
what he was doing, I said Why not?
She said she would run the whole way
and just look in and then run back.
What I like about an Edward Hopper painting
is that it’s an open window.
He was making a sandwich,
sweeping a knife across a piece of bread,
and he didn’t look up.
The lamp he would break was still whole.
For once, he was innocent.
When she came back, she said all the lights
in the apartment were on
and I said it’s just like Hopper,
but she didn’t understand.
I said it was just a room with a person in it
whose feelings rose in his face for a moment.

Originally published in Moss: Volume Five.
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