“Borrowing a Cup of Sugar”

I went to the door of my neighbor down the hall, knocking.
A couple times, I’d held the elevator for her.
She was always so appreciative. I figured this was a good excuse
to come by and see her. There seemed to be the elements
of a mutual attraction at work.

“Hi!” she said.

“Hi— uhhhh, I’m your neighbor down the hall,” I replied.

She giggled. “Yes— I know!” Her smile radiated,
lighting up all the dim fluorescent bulbs in the corridor.

“Listen— I hate to come ask you this—but—“

“Yeees?”

“Well I wondered if I could borrow a cup of sugar?”

“Ohhh,” she trailed off, “I don’t bake…but—”

“MmmmHmm,” I groaned, unsurprised.
“Well I wouldn’t want any of your sugar anyway, then!”
I turned around— and walked back to my studio, depressed.
“All the good ones are worth shit in the kitchen,” I mumbled.

My door closed before hers did. She just stood there, beautiful—
stunned by what just transpired— and that I had left her there
in the doorway of opportunity. She was about to invite me in
for a cup of boiling hot water with a teabag tossed in.
It didn’t matter; I wouldn’t have come, even if she begged me.
I had work to do. I knew I would have to go knock
on at least a few more doors, now,
before I found the girl with my cup of sugar.

narrative poem written on 12-23-2010 by: on mattkane.com
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