X Plus Y By Julie Gard

X Plus Y

One caramel latte. Yeah, exactly, you too.
Heading for 60. We arrive in Salt Lake. No one’s
gotten sick, but it causes diarrhea and vomiting
in a healthy person. Also fatal.

Maybe they’ll be there, maybe they won’t.
I was actually, you know, he’s direct.
When are we boarding? No bridesmaids.
That’s what I’m saying.

The transportation administration has limited
the size and quantity of items. She gave it
to us. Five am. May I see your seat number?
I’m really bummed ’cause last year,

we were gonna get a room together.
We haven’t gotten, I haven’t seen,
I thought they’d arrived. X plus y, x minus y,
what is x squared minus y squared?

She has asked me to do that, to say something,
to give a little monologue if you will at the dinner,
like Winifred and Bob at our wedding. Who else
spoke? With or without the banana?

It has been a week now. It’s a spare banana.
She asked me to give her away.


Source:
Dialogue overheard at Gate 14 of theĀ Oakland International Airport.

Julie Gard’s prose poetry collection Home Studies (New Rivers Press) was a finalist for the 2016 Minnesota Book Award, and her chapbooks include Obscura: The Daguerreotype Series (Finishing Line Press) and Russia in 17 Objects (Tiger’s Eye Press). She lives in Duluth, Minnesota and teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.