Scott Silsbe

What Happened There

What happened there in the dark
or perhaps with all the lights on
in some strange room somewhere
without inhibition, and gleefully,
perhaps we will never really know.
I do remember several things from
the night in question, but loosely.
A heavyset man dancing erotically
and recklessly with the main pole
of a large tent as if he were a stripper,
nearly bringing it all down with him.
Riding backwards in a golf cart
down dark, unknown dirt roads
a colorful hat flying off one of
our heads, off into the night and
its dark and the trees and the dirt.
A drunk couple getting booted from
a family restaurant for “language”
and the ensuing disappointment of
the others of us sitting at the bar.
And you, pounding on the door
of our room, angry with me,
incredulous that I had not let
you in the room any earlier—
somehow suggesting that I was
responsible for you being locked
out of the room, your pinky toe
damaged somehow in the night.
Thinking about it now, I wonder
what it was you were looking for
out there in the world beyond our
makeshift bedroom, what signal
in your brain got you out of bed
and wandering outside the door.
When I asked you in the morning
what you were doing in the middle
of the night, you said, “Sleeping.”


Scott Silsbe was born in Detroit. He now lives in Pittsburgh. His poems have appeared in numerous periodicals and have been collected in the books: Unattended Fire (2012), The River Underneath the City (2013), and Muskrat Friday Dinner (2017). His next book will be called Mount Trashmore (2018?). He is also an assistant editor at Low Ghost Press.