every staircase
we climbed together
led to hell

or an inferno above a thai restaurant

he had the repulsive habit
of loudly blowing his nose at each public table
at which we were seated
once clearing out an entire candle lit section
of a romantic friday night bistro
with his cloth napkin terrorism

he seemed to know he should excuse himself
but i could see that sadistic twinkle
in his eye
enjoying the disgust he inflicted

that was the point
when the southern lady i am
could tolerate no more
of the incessant rudeness

despite his massive talents
being a troll is unbecoming
even for a poet

i snapped up sharply
grabbing my clutch
snarling through clenched teeth
“You vile pig, why don’t you just take a shit on the table?”
storming toward the coat check girl
and my better sensibilities
regarding acceptable etiquette

an impromptu exit
on 55th street in Chicago

i disappeared from his life
in an old checkered yellow cab
never again to return
not even a phone call