David J. Thompson

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An Asshole Thing To Do

He’s rolling through the channels,
stops on something in black & white.Artwork by Gene McCormick
What’s this? I ask. Schindler’s List,
you dumbass, my friend replies,
Haven’t you ever seen it? I shake
my head.  He says we should watch it,
thinks I’ll like it. It’s really good.

I remember it was a Sunday afternoon,
she was way late. We had a date to see
Schindler’s List, then this Indian place
she was dying to try. I hadn’t seen her
in two weeks, kept saying she was working
a lot of doubles, too tired to go out even for a drink.
A knock at the door and I see she’s not smiling,
a quick kiss on the cheek, but before I can say
that we better get going she steps past me,
announces that we need to have a talk.
She’s gone a few minutes later, left me
sitting there alone with a letter she wrote
to explain why she couldn’t see me anymore.
Even she said it was an asshole thing to do
as she walked toward the door. I never read it,
but I’m pretty sure I still have it somewhere.

After a few minutes of the movie, I give up,
start to leaf through an L.L. Bean catalogue
off the coffee table. Why aren’t you paying attention?
my friend asks. Don’t you like it? When I tell him
it’s too sad and painful for me to watch, he says
he understands. It’s a powerful story, that’s for sure.
One you never forget.


David J. Thompson is a former prep school teacher and coach who has been traveling since October 2013. His latest photo/poetry chapbook, And Thou Upon Earth, is available from Nerve Cowboy in Austin, Texas. Please visit his photo website at ninemilephoto.com.