Sunday, February 20, 2005

Relapse

Behind closed doors, she is 19 again.
Cracks a window and breathes suburban air—
fresh, deep, easy. Props an elbow
against crisp eggshell walls, bare toes crinkling
around powder blue bath rug. Lights. Drags. Ashes
in the toilet. Forgets her smooth scalp, swollen
calf. Eyes closed, she remembers her first
apartment, above the Blue Moon
Café, friday nights with her baby
spinning her polka dot skirt silly across
the dance floor, his fingers catching the love bug
all over again in her short red curls. She flicks.
Unaimed ash finds her knee, early 50s, carrying the weight
of children, cancer, the cha-cha. Putting out
the cigarette she zips up evidence. Tucks away
worn cloth makeup case in the middle drawer. Pops a mint. Heads
down the hallway. Takes the stairs one
by one. Slowly.
Aching

2 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

Intense. Vivid. Many stories filed into such a poem. It works beautifully. Wow. Wow.

1:14 PM | Permalink  
Blogger mer said...

Katie, this poem has been on my mind all day since reading it this morning. I can't shake the tight images, the layers of meaning, the loneliness of this poem. I echo Matt completely.

11:58 PM | Permalink  

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