Carly Taylor

We sipped wine on the porch, watched stray cats

soak up oil beneath cars, salt from tortilla chips stinging

hollowed canker sores in my cheeks. Your feet stunk,

blending with the hydrangeas, rain-washed asphalt,

a familiar mix of dirt and wet wood. We said little,

easier to tilt back in our chairs, listen to children

squawking, a cherry-mouthed reminder of my belly empty,

my liquor-liver relaxed. We were not the ones

who married for close-fisted babies, not the ones

who fucked on kitchen counters, ate food with fingers, sucked

seasonings from our knuckles. We were the translucent

wall-whisperers, the ones who strangers

smiled at but never bared teeth. We fell further

apart each day, fading into the pictures

others eventually took down in their houses.

Carly Taylor, a Florida native, received her MFA in poetry from Florida State University in 2009. Several of her poems are forthcoming in The New York Quarterly. She lives in Tallahassee and is currently working on a book of poetry.

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