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Dorie Off To Atlanta

Jen? Hi, it’s Dorie. I’m on the bus to LaGuardia. … Atlanta.
What? … Maybe. I’m not really sure. I mean his schedule is so
y’know? … But anyway. I was telling you about Marcie. Yeah.
I said to her, I said, Marcie, this one seems different, y’know?
I said the last few guys you’ve dated–from what you’ve told
I mean frankly– … Yeah. I said, Marcie, they might be
like very charming, y’know, and with great jobs, but frankly–
what it comes down to is, Let’s hit the bed,
and in the morning, Thanks for the excellent coffee. Y’know?
But this guy– … What? It’s Jason. Yeah.
So I said Marcie, from what you’ve said, Jason sounds
and from what Bob said about him also. … Bob knows him 
from some project last fall. So I said Marcie, you’ve had, what,
two coffees, two lunches, and a dinner, and he still hasn’t– …
No, Bob says he’s definitely straight. …
I think there was a divorce like six years ago or something. But
What? … That’s right, yeah, I did. At Nathan’s party after some
     show …
Yeah, “The Duchess of Malfi,” I forgot I told you. What? …
Only for five minutes–one cigarette, y’know? … Kind of low-
like thoughtful. But my point is– … Yeah, exactly! So I said,
Marcie, this is a guy who understands, y’know,
that bed is like part of something, y’know?
Like it’s not the big objective for godsake. It’s like an aspect–
What? … Exactly–it’s an expression of something much more–
Yes!–it’s like, Can we be companions in life, y’know?
So I said, Marcie, for godsake–if you don’t give this guy
like a serious chance, somebody else–y’know? … Right, 
I mean let’s face it– … Jen? I’m losing you here–am I breaking
Jen, I’ll call you from the airport–Okay bye. 

—Mark Halliday

From The Gettysburg Review, vol. 17 no. 1
Gettysburg College

Copyright Mark Halliday.
All rights reserved.

Reprinted by permission of Mark Halliday. Copyright by Mark Halliday. For further permissions information, contact Mark Halliday, 12750 Rich Lane, Athens, OH 45701, [email protected].

Poetry 180

About the Poet

Mark Halliday (1949- ) is the author of six poetry collections, including Thresherphobe (University of Chicago Press, 2013). Halliday earned a BA and an MA from Brown University, and a PhD from Brandeis University.

Learn more about Mark Halliday at The Poetry Foundation.