A knock on my apartment window, no one’s there. I’m drinking Vodka in my bedroom closet while my roommate showers. Upside down, she spirals the towel around her hair then flips it up, a nautilus. She’s doing this now, I know, while I close the door to my room, close the door to my closet, close the door to my heart. I light a cigarette, observe the smoke as it curlicues into my work clothes. I know he’s out there knocking. We saw his silhouette in street light shadows around my complex when returning from girls’ night out. Somehow he found the new place no one’s supposed to know is here, hidden as far as my heart within the timbers marking time. Another ominous knock and I’m banging on the bathroom door, begging my roommate to protect me. We call our friends and duck in the middle of the kitchen where there are no windows. It’s like a scene from Charlie’s Angels when one friend comes to the door to get us, dressed in a trench coat to conceal the gun. The other one is at the wheel, has pulled her car onto the sidewalk as close as it can get to our front door. We bolt– one, two, three strides and we’re locked in safe and sound. We drive to the house they own after spending hours parked outside his apartment, my old apartment, waiting for his return, which never happens.
beyond picket fence
a storm-torn pasture awaits
In a Somnifacient Reality
whispers begin and end in the same place—
a place where blown-glass songbirds harmonize
and windswept flora sways like metronomes
keeping time, the turquoise rings resound
disconnected beadwork as they segue to green
rusty day-old scenes
awakening disillusioned eyes
mini-teacups etched in gold
chinaware I hold, a throttlehold
the footpath I have traversed ethereal
here in this sweven
where I’m safe from you
While the Kids Are at School
After quick rummage through dresser drawer
I slip to my hips the slinky black string bikini
from pre-baby days, draw my arms as close
to my sides as I can get, squeeze my chest
so ample bubbles cleave a crease between
my breasts. I anchor my thumbs on thin-strung
bottoms as if I’m ready to pull them down.
Strike a pose—my sassy face a teenage mock—
& wait for you to undress. I can’t cover up
the hysterectomy & c-section scars
can’t hide extra skin, a mushroom
beneath my navel, marbled stretch marks
parked on ass like leaves on grass.
We just discussed last year’s
Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover.
Award-winning poet Laurie Kolp is the author of Upon the Blue Couch and Hello, it’s Your Mother. Publications include Concho River Review, Scissors & Spackle, Pirene’s Fountain, and more. Laurie lives in Texas with her husband, three children and two dogs. Learn more about Laurie (@KolpLaurie) on her website, http://lauriekolp.com.