CL Bledsoe


She and I have forgotten the angles of each other's bodies, the shock

of rough skin rubbing across soft. We fill

this forgetting with NPR, bad movies, plans

while we make dinner in our tight

kitchen, careful not to brush against each other in case we find the place

we haven't been to in so long has changed, everything become smaller, larger,

strange. This place—she—doesn't remember me, just as I don't remember her.


Forays have been made, like drunken road trips

to childhood hangouts. We've fumbled; we've tried

to relearn. Forgiveness has been given, annoyance

taken; we have grown into something else, something soft, cool, bearable.


It's good to listen, to know things from a soft voice. It's

good not to hear the screech of commercials, to keep abreast

of obscure events we'll never care about the way we worry

over that void. This is adulthood. This is what we've worked towards.


One night I will wake to the sound of plastic

shattering, run into the kitchen to find her

burying an axe in the voice of Terry Gross;

I've dreamed this three nights in a row. Each morning, I wake

refreshed, go into the kitchen, and click on the morning noise

while I make oatmeal and tea. This is better than the dream

I used to have about a snake with a triangle head rising

from between her legs, while I screamed, "Get back

on the road, never mind the rocks; I'll distract it while you run!"


In the evenings, we meet for dinner, don't talk

about our days. In the evenings, we listen, shake our heads

in a purposeless way when it seems appropriate.  She leaves

dishes in the sink, covering the counter. I'll lie in bed,

later, thinking about them. When I wake,

I'll get to them while my tea boils. The dishwasher's almost

full. That's another week, gone, a new one, starting. I'll think

of this and laundry, ironing that needs doing. What she thinks,

I don't know. Work tomorrow and what must be done?

She is a dent beside me. Most nights, I forget she's there.



CL Bledsoe is an editor for Ghoti Magazine   His first collection, Anthem, is forthcoming later this year from Cervena Barva Press.