Narrow Openings

by Francesca Bell

It’s hot. The clouds’ soft faces
are closed, a billowing refusal,
and I want to quarrel
with my lover who just sits
risen dull from a bed we left
damp as horses that have run
for a long time. Hair hangs,
humid and tangled, on my neck,
but he won’t unlatch
the window. Doesn’t like
the noise, he says. I don’t
like him very much. I want
to argue until anger splits me
like flowers that burst across
my short dress. I choose
lipstick to startle him,
Ultra Violent, an assault
of color. He just watches,
his hair still holding
the shape of my hands. Raising
my legs, I let the mirror catch
me, throw him bare skin tingling
sweat. Going for a walk,
I say, slipping into the narrow openings
of sandals, smiling as anger rises
in his dim face. Down each block
I think of him pacing
the closed rooms, stupid and lovely.
Face glowing, I am an August peach.
And my feet slapping
the sidewalk are a dance
as good, as constant, as rain.

Last updated March 03, 2023