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THE GUEST

by Judith McCune



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When Chiqui asked me if my sleep in her house
had been good, I told the truth with a sweep
of my hands: The mattress sags, I said, and left
for Spanish class.
                     She dragged the mattress
off its frame and propped it in the narrow hall.
She pulled the larger, slightly newer mattress off
her and her husband's bed and hauled it
back to mine.
                     Now when Chiqui asks me
how I've slept, I lie: Just fine, I say,
though by this time I've learned
the Spanish word for shame.




Judith McCune is the poetry editor of Mars Hill Review. She teaches English at the Stony Brook School, in New York.

Copyright © 2000 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.
The Atlantic Monthly; March 2000; The Guest; Volume 285, No. 3; page 96.

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