Fortune (for Natalie) by Alex Feldman

Fortune good
or Fortune bad—the reason we
Introduce ourselves to strangers in bars
We desperately attempt to swing the pendulum of
Fortune one way or
the other
just to get things moving
We invite each other back to hotel rooms
Drink champagne
and kiss
without knowing the names of
the other one’s parents
that one is trained in classical piano while at the
same time we are both trained in the art of grief
so even though we pass through cities and states
and countries
knowing that bad fortune lasts
harder than good fortune
I came to realize
that when we first met
the bartender served shots filled
with fruit flies but it was no matter because
that lovely Enfant Terrible I met in that bar
said all the offensive
things in a way that excited me out of my often dull existence
And the word CUNT tickled the eardrums like a
Prayer to the faithful
Like a
Not guilty verdict to the falsely accused
All while her hair flowed from brown on top
To blonde halfway down
As if she were telling me “everything changes halfway through
and falling in love for the night
isn’t the same as falling
in love” (although as we
get older it happens less and less still)

When I’m ready to leave the hotel I feel
good fortune fading to bad
One goodbye kiss turns to
ten as I fight
the reality which forces me
out the door
I even shoot her a text
A last grasp towards good fortune
As I walk up 4 flights of Harlem stairs
and realize
She’s back in Los Angeles
gone forever
and more so:
one doesn’t really get to choose how
long bad fortune lasts

One thing adulthood has taught me:
keep sitting at the bar waiting for the
next tempestuous evening
because in the moment,
good fortune pays
bad fortune no mind

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