She knows him down to the hip, the way he accommodates the slope of linoleum, insists he'll never let her go. In June she thinks she could be the girl next door. We can get used to anything—cocktails at ten thousand feet, a bigger mouthful, a smaller head. It's August when she loses her hero. In the waiting room they give her a tuna fish sandwich and her brother's gym shoes. A wave of birds lifts black, then silver off a graveyard pond. He leans against the cupboard and says, I've had enough of your crying. It's me you have to think of. A blade opens easy and silent as a fish. But she's grown tired of the struggle—pesticide, spermicide, garden plots and tombs. By September, the Chinese lanterns have taken over and it's easier that way. Rustle of flame-colored skin, a slow strangle and scorch in the hollow.
Shirley Stephenson Read Bio Author Discusses Poems
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