Letter Home by Claire Nelson

In Wake of the City by Tyler Rayburn
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Letter Home

His pants were black, and I wasn’t sure
if we were going to fuck, but he said,
“I’m gonna take my pants off these
are really tight.” And they were. Really tight.
He lives in a warehouse by the tracks.
You would hate him. At night,
the train sounded like it was cutting
through the bed, between us, cold bolt
of light, and I was cold and unmoving.
I missed you then. He sells jean cutoffs
and Goodwill clothes at double price.
He’s a businessman. You would like that.
I’m watching VH1 and it is so terrible
I junkfood wish you were here; I literally
fruit roll up. When he wanted to come
inside me I said “I don’t know you,“ and he,
“Yeah, you’re on birth control, right?”
I shouldn’t keep calling him.
I see my drug dealer more than I see
my friends. She is dying of lupus and I think
she really might die,
and I can’t stop thinking.
He said a lot of stupid things. You did too.
I made you macaroni, meatloaf with bacon
and brown sugar. You said, “Your love is
a closed fist. Mine is an open palm,”
I said, “My drug dealer is in the hospital again.”
The oven popped shut on my arm,
a rectangle of skin hissed.
There’s ash and mashed pill
in the grain of my dresser.
I press my tongue
to the wood, it comes up black.

 


Claire Nelson

Claire Nelson is a human woman living & writing in Savannah, GA. Her works have appeared inside your eyelids and on soggy coasters in the Palace Saloon.