portion of the artwork for Kelly Boyker's poetry
Pillar Saint
Kelly Boyker

Through the azaleas she pads away in a bear suit
he tries to memorize her but cannot find
the exact algorithm to summon her shape.

Now he remains, counting the minutes, counting her discretions
not wanting to forget anything because it is essential to clutch
the stone hard against your chest as you sink into the water.

He dreams her in Cuba, pushing a cocktail umbrella aside
to take long drinks of something fruity,
the Communist Manifesto
placed over the tan line on her breasts
as the shadow of the pool boy crosses her thighs.

His bitterness grows straight down into the ground.

In some other future she reels toward him in an old wool blanket
reeking of cigarettes. They live in a shotgun apartment and
she is dying of lung disease. Her doctor is named Goodnight
assuring her ending will be painful. She sleeps in the parlor now
every possible surface covered with bottles
while the IV trolley casts a bell tower shadow across the bed.

Look now, it is night, he undoes the back of her gown
counting the buttons, one by one. The most agile fingers
he is a seamster who will sew himself into her body.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 33 | Summer 2011