• Allison B.

missed stakes

she never calls for an appointment,

waltzing into my foyer, her heels echoing

off the slate tiles and dissolving into the wooden walls

I’m never in the middle of something, but

for some reason I feel like I’m in the middle

of everything when she comes around and

I cannot wait for her to leave

she points out how much of a mess I’ve made

with our house, our life, but she never helps me

clean it up, and I’d be angry

but that’s exactly what she wants

to get a rise out of me

she views me like an old painting

that has hung on our walls, and

she thinks that the longer she stares

she will catch the subject stir

somebody batting an eyelash

brushing a stray hair away

sneaking in a desperate breath

breaking composure and upturning,

ever so slightly, a corner of her mouth


but I don’t stir like that

I am a still-life living still

...still living

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