Longing

Longing

by Laura McCullough

It’s there inside each moment, molecule,
in the lining of the clothes she folds,
in the lint she pulls from the dryer’s lip;
she feels it in the marks along her arms,
the threads of Alice and Dorothy, amputated
myths she once loved. Little Red in red
script across her lower back; tramp stamp,
her mother calls it. Tramp stamp, she says,
behind her mother’s back, oh my yes,
and behind the neck, one small star broken
into shards and drops of blood that shift
from magenta to purple to green and then
white, down along her ribs – they hurt –
and this small half moon on the cusp
of her thumb and forefinger, how it folds
when she closes her hand as she folds clothes,
her boyfriend’s shirt, the ravaged one he uses
to work out in, the arms cut off and the neck
slit; she folds and unfolds it again, the moon
rueful in the crease shutting down, now
opening, gone, there again, blue.

this poem refers from the word dryer in Laura’s other poem published in Referential titled When Wonder


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