Gone are the days
when she could walk on water,
now she stretches out to him
as if begging assistance –
takes him down
in shallow water.
Back then they married very young women.
Fettered to the foreman,
her womb fills with possums –
his dead children climb her
from the inside.
Wrote to him,
but he was lost on a whaling voyage.
She is reckless
driven away, easy as
sheep from a ditch –
outgrows her lover’s garments
and returns instead to the pockets
of her father’s trousers.
even if you say you felt nothing,
you were touched all the same.
Washing the Body
The first time she lied,
he gripped her delicate fetlocks
sniffed between her legs and
doused her down with Pine-Scented
Lysol Disinfectant Cleaner.
The second time,
(after practicing on a trunk load of Texas Grapefruit)
he chased her into the kitchen,
pressed her crown against the floor
performed a two-fisted Transorbital Lobotomy.
Still she wouldn’t hang true.
Feed the auger into the hole
until there is no resistance,
turn the auger clockwise and withdraw.
Repeat until it drains.
Send her home in a Yellow Cab.
The third time meant three
feet of Swanson’s Deluxe Garden Hose and
Sears Sheer Nylon Panties in the slant
lights (he found her endless and yes, melting pure).
He always wanted to live by a Man-Made Lake.
Drape the body over the Ironman
place the hands on the floor,
bend both elbows and raise the legs,
turn the toes out.
Once it was just a Sinus Headache
now she burns
Energy Star Compact Fluorescent Lights
during the day, turns off the wipers when it rains,
refuses to wash.
I don’t kill things, he tells her,
Not even fish.
I catch them; tell them they’re pretty
and throw them back in the river.
Times before, at the Economy Inn,
the door would finally shut.
She watched from the motel window
the cars groan by, on a terrible unfamiliar road,
cars that would wrap around trees
and break the lives inside open.
Gleaming packages of flesh
and muscle cut to fit your plate.
Chewed the gutters off my house.
I finally had to let him go.
He was so happy, when the strangers
took him away.
Thought he was going for a walk.
A Mormon girl lives under my basement floor,
her black hair ripples in the underground
stream at the bottom of the basin.
I don’t make promises
and can you please, leave?
I have to get up early in the
They still had to drag the river.
Kelly Boyker lives and writes in Seattle. Her work has recently appeared in Wicked Alice
and Mannequin Envy.