“And After” by Megan O’Reilly

Megan O’Reilly


It comes back to this: dressing in the
bathroom of that motel room, together
but not speaking, like children at a funeral–
your department store bra pulled over
your sticky chest, his ankles grotesquely human,
both of you sixteen and as sexy as wet eggs.

It’s the same years later, though you learn to
converse afterward, the delicate obligatory,
like RSVPing, lining up forks the right way.
Still, you always find yourself homesick
for the way the bed looked an hour ago, the first
glance in good light, the promising turn of the key.

from Rattle #22, Winter 2004

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