Guest Poet ~ Laura Maffei


                                                           taking a phone call
                                                           from a recruiter
                                                           my bathrobe
                                                           falls open


                                                           energy waning
                                                           as the afternoon wears on
                                                           a grim coworker
                                                           leans into my cubicle
                                                           whispering conspiracy


                                                           with eighty-six pins
                                                           in my hair
                                                           peering out from the photo
                                                           of my sister’s wedding

                                                           infant Batman
                                                           in my arms
                                                           barely aware of this world
                                                           that needs saving


                                                           to the brewing coffee
                                                           I move over
                                                           and put my head in the indent
                                                           in your warm pillow


                                                           one hour
                                                           before meeting your friend
                                                           my attention turns
                                                           to painting my nails
                                                           a careful, modern brown


                                                           hot afternoon
                                                           a glint
                                                           of someone’s lost jewelry
                                                           on the dry pavement


                                                           on the phone
                                                           I picture her
                                                           in our school uniform
                                                           this woman with the same voice
                                                           as twenty years ago


                                                           talking to me
                                                           out in the hallway
                                                           a student
                                                           who might have cancer
                                                           our eyes inches apart


                                                           I can’t feel sorry
                                                           for that black cat in the snow
                                                           its strength
                                                           its incomparable sleekness
                                                           as it runs


                                                           can she fix me?
                                                           this staid psychologist
                                                           a Vermeer print
                                                           tacked carefully to the wall
                                                           just above her left shoulder


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