“Body Talk” by Lynne Knight

Lynne Knight


Sometimes in airports I leave my body behind—
my old body, I mean. I step into the younger version,
the one where I flirt with just about anybody,
who cares, because nobody knows me—
it has to be a big airport, preferably international—
and I carry on as if I’m not even thirty yet, so whoever
stares back at me can trust me and start imagining
how hot it will be to ditch the flight and head for
an airport hotel. This happened the other day.
He was maybe late 40s, no gut, but nothing
too fit—just a nice-looking guy who wouldn’t
make a quick fuck complicated or need to ask
my name afterward, just to be polite. So I smiled.
He smiled back. Maybe not at me—the gate
was jammed with people trying to rebook after
storms the day before. Still, the 20-something me
went right on trying to woo. I decided to pull
my carry-on closer, wanting to be sure he meant
his smile for me. I moved closer, closer.
And he stood, offering the old lady his seat.

from Prompt Poem of the Month
January 2024


Prompt: Write a poem that tells a story about a silent interaction with a stranger.

Note from the series editor, Katie Dozier: “Lynne’s note accompanying her submission was simply, ‘Just having some fun with this one.’ Here, the fun for the writer becomes positively seductive for us readers. The sharp turn of the last line volts us from an initial reaction of laughter to a lingering exploration of what it means to age.”

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