Monday, February 20, 2012

Robert Cooperman


In the men's room,
Robert Johnson tempted
at the Crossroads: the myth
that started modern
American music;
in the ladies': Adam,
Eve, and the Serpent.

Beth and I loved
to linger in those sanctuaries
after our delicious breakfasts
and cups of coffee.

But one morning
those murals were painted over,
our bathrooms just places
to do our business and get on
with the rest of our day.
When we asked our waitress,
she looked left, right,
then confided in whispers:

"The owner cheated
with the woman
who painted them;
his wife tossed him out
and smeared brush and paint
all over the walls."

That artist taunting her rival?
Or art's uncontrollable
guilty conscience?

Gerald So reads "Delicious Sins":

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Cooperman confesses: "'Delicious Sins' is based on a true story. Sad and understandable, but I wish the murals didn't have to go."

ROBERT COOPERMAN's latest collections are Troy (March Street Press) and Cave Dweller (Wind Publications). The Lily of the West is forthcoming from Wind Publications in the Spring. Cooperman's work has appeared in Sewanee Review, The North American Review, and The Southern Humanities Review. Cooperman lives in Denver with his wife Beth.


Nancy Scott said...

Ah, Adultery, the wellspring for such heroic tales through the ages.

Thomas Pluck said...

Very nice work... the words of the prophets are markered on the shithouse walls ;)