The BloomeryMelissa Barrett
A queue outside the wrought iron but I’m pushed through because of my barrette and clasped shoes, my laugh which means my sex. I sink into a pitch of shadow, quiet as a closed drawer—what could be a graveyard, an examination, the tips of a child’s fingers pitched into prayer, each step pleading dimness. A low oven straps the center of an unwalled room and a fire split at its center, lapping the dark with the sound of things passing: knives in air, I orbit, I orbit, I repent on well-lotioned knees, this bed crackling rubicund. I notice such things: banister spindles and the paved gaping of an empty street, a stoplight rocking dense with the wind. Even columns of words— they shake, rearrange themselves and I remember your fingers, how you wanted me open, right then then and there—how I wanted it, too: to be over, done, once and for all—Honestly, that pale pink burden that rode at the front of my brain every time I rolled toward you: Show me, I said, and meant to say again but lay lazy and drunk with someone else: eyes to the ceiling, wondering if he left the light on because he wanted to watch. I was a good woman. I was drunk. I thought, This is it, as he turned a trowel to the smelt and drug a body from the fire. The bloom was slouched, knobbled, porous— The hammered divorce of iron from dross and I recall your hands: how they let everything in.
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