“Dorie Off To Atlanta” by Mark Halliday
Poetry 180: A Poem a Day for American High Schools, Hosted by Billy Collins, U.S. Poet Laureate, 2001-2003
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 whacked, y’know? … But anyway. I was telling you about Marcie. Yeah. So 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 me– 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 different– 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 my– 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- Key, 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 up? Jen, I’ll call you from the airport–Okay bye.
From The Gettysburg Review, vol. 17 no.
Copyright Mark Halliday.
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About the Poet
Mark Halliday is the author of six poetry collections, including Keep This Forever (Tupelo Press, 2008). 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.