[Man at window, Haymarket Theater by Robert James Lucas, 1925]
He stared through the perfectly unstreaked surface. Beyond lay the vacuum of night; between he could see his reflection trapped within one-quarter inch of glass. The blackness made his eyes look hollow, his open mouth capable of swallowing a midnight’s worth of regret. The old scar pulsed fresh. Pink and swollen, it was over his left eye now: the mark of her lipstick. Away from the glass the pale white jag remained on the right side, where her ring had met his face.
He took a sip of both drinks, catching his own empty eye and nodding to his health. On the near side of the glass his lip passed a string of oozing red into the tumbler. He watched himself from the far side and set the neat bourbon down. Looking in he didn’t like what he saw of the hotel room: a borrowed suitcase, half-empty; an unlined, plastic trashcan chocked with takeout; a bruised and weepy face that dared not hold his gaze.
“Here’s to you, lover boy.” One lidless eye winked atop the glass. She was waiting for him downstairs. He straightened his tie; he had a pair of rings in his jacket pocket. He’d had enough of these macabre reflections. She was the one. He knew that as well as he knew himself.
From the hotel room he watched himself snap his fingers, point up in the air and sashay out. He shut off the lamp and the reflection disappeared. The unstreaked midnight sky remained.