Smokescreen by Virginia Laurie






Do you remember what you told me when you broke the cartilage
of my comp notebook, the royal blue one with those speckles, the
poems to your height, you burned it in your palm and told me to
take a dive like a swan, long neck stretched out for biting concrete,
and still I looked both ways before you crossed the street, I still paid
attention to the level of your shoulders, I still did, I still do, love you?

Maybe not. You’re so busy with your backaches and sneers,
I feel bad for you in all your strength. Your lonely, lonely strength.

Always breathing ash, you never let your tongue go unburnt, you
wait for it to purple on the grill, while you hold my neck down to
it, I’m tired of it, the fake thin, choking walls you build to stop me.
Do you ever get tired of hiding? Are you drinking enough water?

Damnit, I do. Still hold you, that is. Through all the smoke.

In spite of ourselves,
I am sick with it, the sting
of old sandbox love

Virginia Laurie is a student at Washington and Lee University whose work has been published in LandLocked, Panoply, Phantom Kangaroo, Short Vine, Tiny Seed and The Merrimack Review.

Image by Jan Kahánek, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

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