Lauren Rile Smith


This house's air is heavy, wet: wallpaper curling
around the edges and stones in the garden

gleaming green. I'm tired of the incandescence
of your smile. Six days of rain and I can feel my

humor wearing through with touch; my patience gumming
from the persistent fogging of your breath.

To step outside is to take root in mud. I'm ankle-deep;
inside, I'm riveted by your voice, the heat of your hands,

the kitchen window -- new grass is growing on the lawn. Soft shoots
of green. You brush my hair: your clever fingers

seeking out my knots. Your tongue is warm. Your palms are smooth.
The blade is sharp. I click my fingers. Step away.

Lauren Rile Smith is a first-year student at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, and the Assistant Editor of the American Poetry Review. Her work has appeared in publications including Skanky Possum, Stirring, Xconnect, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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