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Poetry: Romano by Stephen House


by Stephen House

Romano is below the room
at the doorway 
propped up under the pink light 
bare chest 
and top button of his low slung jeans undone

a young business-man is cruising him 
from his slick sports car

Romano is whoring
out of habit
out of need
out of anger at me 

i’ve seen him in this stance so many times
this morning it makes me sick 
his semi nakedness on the dirty curb 
dragging me back to my own young life 

we stare at each other 
in stark knowing amphetamine silence 
i turn away from him and go upstairs
Romano leaves his trick and follows me 

murmuring in his stupid language 
musty street smell mixed with expensive cologne 
breathe on my neck
exciting and sickening at the same time
words rasping out a familiar desperate song 
we both sing so well 

i don’t stop and turn back
i can’t 

i look away from his deep dark eyes
take my bag and dirty money 
and go back down the narrow wooden staircase

Romano calls to me 
something about love 

i keep moving
away from him
and that part of me
with him

towards i don’t know where 
or who

About the author

Stephen House: has had many plays commissioned and produced and been published often. He has won two Awgie Awards (Australian Writer’s Guild), an Adelaide Fringe Award, First Prize Rhonda Jancovich Poetry Award for Social Justice, The Goolwa Poetry Cup, First Prize SA Writers / Feast Short Story Prize & Second Prize Poetry at Sawmillers. He has been shortlisted for Overland’s Fair Australia Fiction Prize, Patrick White Playwright and Queensland Premier Drama Awards, the Tom Collins, Robyn Mathison, Eyre Writers, Mindshare, Rhonda Jankovic Poetry Awards, a Di Cranston Script Award, and a Greenroom best actor Award. He has received Australia Council literature residencies to Canada and Ireland and an Asialink to India.  His poetry chapbook “real and unreal” was published by ICOE Press in 2018. Stephen continues to perform his acclaimed monologues, “Almost Face To Face” and “Appalling Behaviour” widely.

Other work by Stephen House on Flashes

Of Reality
New York

Read more poetry on Flashes

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Created in 2014, Flashes is a privately owned literary website. We publish short stories, non-fiction, flash fiction and poetry. Our goal is to give talented writers a platform to showcase their creativity, with an emphasis on original voice, innovative style and challenging plots.
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