A Picture of Amagansett – 1980

Bed, Amagansett, Lilo Raymond


6pm, Friday

This object hangs from a paper clip
until I can find a place for it.
A photograph of a bed.
I have just finished counting
my tips after work
so, my feelings are not easily
stirred by it.
It is a black and white
photograph of a bed;
white crumpled sheets,
pillows white against a white wall,
white lacy curtains frame
a sunny bush outside,
the side of the house next door.
Must have been a hot night in
There is no blanket
darkening the foot of the bed.

10:30am, Saturday

This morning Charlie woke me at 8:30
with a cup of coffee.
I went back to sleep
while I waited for it to cool.
My cat slept on my knees
so, when Charlie brought me a grapefruit
my feet were asleep.
The pink grapefruit
had slices of banana
slipped between the segments and
sour cream on top.
There was a green cross of
lime slices in the sour cream.
After I ate this,
squirting juice on my breast,
I dozed over my cold coffee
until Charlie returned with a tray;
butter and cream
and maple syrup and more hot coffee.
No, he brings me French toast
with cheddar cheese melted on top.
We talk and eat.
I think about the picture of Amagansett.
Charlie leaves.
In the bathroom I paint my nails
bright red
and while they are still wet
I take the photograph of the bed
in Amagansett
down from the hook
over my desk
and take it into the bedroom
and lay it in the morning sun,
in the wrinkles of our bed
and I begin to write.

Saturday night

I am sitting in the living room
waiting for Tom and Susan
to take me to visit Wayne,
who is in the hospital.
When I look at the photograph,
I think of making love with Wayne
in the afternoons many years ago;
before I met Charlie.
Always, just as I was dropping off into
soft sweaty sleep,
he would get up and take a shower.
Now he is alone in a room with
white sheets
and white walls. Ladies
with white shoes wake him
in the middle of the night.
Like vampires they cannot wait
to stab him with needles and spill his blood
on the white sheets.
I can hear Tom’s car outside,
and now I will go
and stop killing time.