How She Lived


It was getting hot that did it,
the way the sweat gathered at the back
of her neck and between her thighs,
how the sun stayed in the sky
day after day
so that only her tears would dry.

It was getting laid that did it,
how the man held her to the ground
so that the grass chafed her
back and the wind could find no passage
between their bodies,
the way the air filled and filled her.

It was getting sick that did it,
the way she closed the curtains and locked
herself in,
how she shivered at the sound
of a phone, lips opening
without words,
teeth closing again like a trap.

It was the bird disemboweled by
a cat in her yard, the man
who spoke
kindly on the bus.

She curled up on the floor and slept
there, legs twitching now and
then in the open. So that later, when she’d washed
her long hair, she touched its strange, cool shine
and held it
to her eyes for a time.

© 2016 Karen Kleis –  All Rights Reserved

You are free to reblog or share a link to this poem.  You are not free to copy or otherwise reprint this poem without my explicit permission.  Thank you.

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