We're In the Room
Poem by Antonia Clark  •  Art by Patricia Wallace Jones
 


It always starts with dishes. She drying,
he's picking his teeth. In the kitchen
window, the sky's still dark purple,
going black fast, and a yellow bulb appears
and disappears in the glass, if we sway
forward and back on our toes. He presses
her, she shivers into stone. He turns
his naked back to everyone. She sings,
faltering, hums what she doesn't dare
to say, but we all know the words:
You'll be the sorry one, someday. We're in
and out of the room, filling our lungs
with air as if it's the deep end of the pool.
If the moment breaks open, we'll ask
to chase fireflies, run through wet grass
barefoot, as if it's all we ever wanted.
Moths thrum the screen door, the room
rattles like an empty gourd. She throws
down her towel. Then take them. She spits
the words like seeds she wasn't expecting
to find in her mouth. We're caught
in the doorway, we're in, then we're out.



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