September 23, 2012

Sara E. Lamers

NOVEMBER

Who would miss her
body if it melted

into bone? She learns
to blend in at parties,

grips a sweaty glass
by its rim. How to mimic
the women? The way

they slip fingers through
belt loops. And those hips!

Chiseled to a perfect arch.
Leaving, she’ll pause

on the pavement,
this blessed suburbia

where garbage bins
await the morning collection,

lids fixed tight so nothing
spills out. So much order!

Parked cars end to end
making parallel lines

on either side of the street.
Lights still on in houses.

She thinks of running—more
than five miles a day, no matter

the weather, no matter
how terribly her body

aches. What kind of
composure is this? Even

leaving each morning
takes several tries: she

has to swivel back
to check the lock,

grip the handle and twist
to know for sure.

Nights, the same
thing: she plants two hands

to the stovetop, relieved
by the coolness of coils.

Sometimes she flicks the dial,
watches for the red light,

twists the knob back
to the “off ” position,

sits in the silent dark
and waits.

from Rattle #23, Summer 2005

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