“Ashtray” by Robin S. Chapman

Robin S. Chapman


Joke gift from my first crush,
her hollow belly was made
for stubbing out butts
and her long legs splayed

in perpetual cancan kick.
Her naked breasts glowed
in my bedroom red
as the tip of the Marlboro

he lit that first and only
date, shaky voice and hands
offering his ironic present.
When he went to the dance

with someone else
her glazed face
never stopped smiling
as I hammered her to ashtray bits

and buried her
out back. What was I thinking of?
Who can piece together
what we smash in search of love?

from Rattle #16, Winter 2001


Robin S. Chapman: “I listened to A.A. Milne, R.L. Stevenson, Lewis Carroll, and my babysitter’s high school literature assignments under a tree in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and have been writing poetry ever since, wanting to make silences of memory and my love for Appalachian foothills and Wisconsin prairies come alive again in words.”

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