Stipulations by Robert Fromberg
She told me she would prefer that I walk between her and the curb. She told me she would prefer that I open the car door for her. She told me she would prefer that I open all doors for her. She told me to double-knot my boots. I did. She said, “Tell me what you bring to the table.” I compiled a list. She pushed a button on a remote control in the bedroom, and a single black blind descended over the room-width, eight-foot high window, and the blind, when fully descended, revealed itself to be a blackout blind, and black out it did; the downtown skyline was wiped away, and I had never been in a room so black, certainly never when the goal was for two people to find one another on a California-king mattress. I made do. She said she didn’t like poetry. She said, “Why can’t poets just say what they want to say?” I didn’t know what I wanted to say. But I didn’t say that.
Robert Fromberg has recent prose in Hobart, Anti-Heroin Chic, The Daily Drunk, and elsewhere. His memoir, How to Walk with Steve, is coming from Latah Books.