Art by Lily Bell
You were a dream that I had
never woken up from. The statues
were crumbling & you pulled me down
past their marbled grayness, down into the only
patch of greenery left in my life. You kept me
there in secret. With your finger pressed
staunchly against pursed lips, you took me under
humming street lamps & in cloth passenger’s seats. Each time
you buried trinkets in my rib cage, weighing me down,
hoarding secrets in my bones. The stillness in the summertime
slumber made me believe if we never opened our mouths for them,
we could hideaway inside of each other forever.
When the birds had left, their southern trajectory was a Rorschach
blotting the August air. But you flew North & I had to keep
reminding myself that you were real. That the dead
orchid in my room was more than a metaphor,
that we could both see the same stars dying
in the same night sky.
Sara saunters over, tiptoeing.
The asphalt roof, the slope
of the shingles scratches our legs.
Guitar trills twists perfectly
with her lips, curved into an inner tube
exhaling the suburban grief.
The pink of her nipples, communion wafers.
and I was begging for God.
We shimmied through splintered panes,
the night was our rectory.
She sang in falsetto and my goosebumps
while the stars met their death above us,
like marshmallows in hot chocolate.
Fizzing quietly to a sad end.
Someone asked me once,
about the best cigarette I’ve ever had.
It was on the tongue of a girl
too old for her age, too busy for her body.
Her thighs, her legs,
not quite long enough
to patch the distance.
Layla Lenhardt is the founder and editor-in-chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has most recently been published in Peeking Cat Poetry, 1932 Quarterly, and the forthcoming Door Is A Jar and Street Light Press. She is from the North East, but she currently resides in Indianapolis and she believes that you can never have enough cats. www.pretzel8byteslite.wordpress.com