Monthly Archives: January 2016

Casual Affair

“Shit. I left my necklace on your nightstand.”
“I’ll grab it if you want to swing back.”

I pull the car up the snowy drive
for the second time.
He holds it out —
the charm that says “wisdom” —
and drops it into my open hand.
“‘Wisdom’ my ass,” he laughs and smiles.
I smile and mutter thanks or maybe sorry
and get back into the car.

The neckace clinks in my pocket,
and I remember what I said to him
before I left the first time –
that this would be the last time.

Wiser, I hope,
and drive home.


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They’ve danced before.
Advancing slowly,
stepping cautiously,
circling one another
with calculated patience
and anxious nonchalance.

They’re evaluating —
body language,
risk of falling.

They start to move again —
separately, but in tandem,
watching and waiting
and tensing for action.

He cocks an eyebrow,
and when she smirks,
he smiles
and prepares to leap.

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I scrub my teeth harder than usual.
The brush is medium-bristled,
but my gums still ache
from getting the taste out of my mouth.

I clean more vigorously than usual.
The white washrag absorbs dark dirt,
and I wonder how I hadn’t noticed the buildup.

I launder more linens than usual.
The washer vibrates with the effort
of removing stale, set-in stains.

I dust more thoroughly than usual.
If it’s true what they say –
that dust is mostly dead skin –
then I’m getting rid of my old self
with every pass of paper towel.

Within an hour,
I’ve finally given myself
a clean slate.

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