Sometimes waves appear to me in dreams
swimming ear to ear I hear them strengthen
their inky fins following my wake
heaving in rough seas apocryphal advice
equivocal lies, they are– LIES
that I might float on a crown of pearls this time
and I believe them… I believe them!
I prepare to dive, my arms above my head
eyes focused on the final prize, looking down
all I see are words swirling in jetsam,
words drifting in just the same waves
fondling just the same barracudas–
just the same damn realization
revealed in just the same damn reverie.
Naked in a boat with no life preserver,
I struggle to reach the moon.
Attempting to blanch your yellow eyes
is like churning butter by hand.
Since you are a buffalo, I must
approach pussyfooted while you
are passed out on washboard floor.
I must wait for black sleep to colander
the viscous liquid from your veins,
must wait for your clear-headed
waking, stir at your side
without startling you.
I must hope your last binge
has soured you enough
to move forward without a fight
must prepare for your withdrawal
must toss my running shoes.
But I lose my patience
thrumming the blue book much too long.
On impulse, I think
you’re finally ready to hear Bill’s story
for the umpteenth time,
but you don’t even budge.
Sectioning the photo album became a ritual for her
pages dedicated to each man she entrapped
each man she thought she loved
each man she fucked.
Boyfriend number one set the balls rolling
when he rolled on top of her when she was drunk
and showed her how to fuck
and she thought the only way to keep him
was to give him what he wanted whenever he wanted it
but all she ever wanted was his love.
Boyfriend number two did a striptease on their third date
because he’d already gotten her to bed
because she already loved him.
Boyfriend number six was the one who pulled out
a rug from beneath her feet when he left
a message on her answering machine
that he and his wife reunited
instead of finalizing the divorce.
She looked so good as fuckee in the photo album
posing next to each man she screwed and thought she loved.
She’d spend nights poring over each page–poor me!
pouring one more Vodka while listening to country music.
Except for boyfriend number four, the one she married
the one who couldn’t tell the truth, the one who couldn’t get it up,
the one whose face is missing in the few pictures she ripped in half
between boyfriend number three who swallowed a beer cap
and boyfriend number five whose first and second fingers were better than his dick.
In those photos she just looks wasted.
Laurie Kolp is an avid runner, lover of nature, married mother of three who enjoys living life one day at a time in Southeast Texas. She is the author of Upon the Blue Couch (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014) and Hello It’s Your Mother (Finishing Line Press, October 2015). Recent publications include the 2015 Poet’s Market, Scissors & Spackle, North Dakota Quarterly, among others. Learn more about Laurie at http://lauriekolp.com.
Cover Photo: “Holographic Interface” by Eugenia Loli (http://eugenialoli.tumblr.com)