The Squirrel Cage

From the wooden booth
I saw my ghost walk by:
her hair falling in her face,

gait confident in that nervous way
women in their early 20s have.
I ate the cherry and then sucked

on the stem, twirling it between my teeth.
Twisting with my tongue, I pulled
out a nice slippery knot,

placed it: red and wet
on the white bar napkin.
Kate and I used to make lists—

traits we wanted in a lover,
the perfect apartment.
She put down “claw foot tub”

and I scoffed at the improbability.
You have to be specific, she insisted.
So I ordered another whiskey sour,

two cherries.