It’s true I seen them kissing (Tess)

L.I. Henley

on the porch, what with how

my kitchen window faces Ella’s door.

Ella and Michael, kissing —

that I’m sure of. Those little wrists

ringed with a dozen bracelets

and there I am rinsing dishes, staring,

and the staring made the lovers change

like one of those ink blots

or like when a toppled rocking chair

is a bent-back creature skulking

in the den at five a.m. until the light

makes it a buffalo, a mountain,

then finally a chair again. Is it the staring

that makes a man into a bear,

a woman into a deer, white tail fanned,

a long kiss into a python

forever swallowing its meal?

I admit to refreshing my lowball glass

more than once, I admit to pressing

myself to the warm oven after he lumbered

away, to letting a pot boil over and not wiping up

the milky water, I admit

to letting dinner burn.


about the author