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By M. C. St. John
While brewing the coffee, she says,
Write positive things, full-metered
and bursting with color. Find the time
on your lunch break. In the bath.
With me. On me. Under me.
It’s how I make all the time.
It could do you some good.
He looks at his hands and says,
For me, it’s working in a dark room,
being quiet and waiting for something
to develop in the red light and acid baths.
If I open the door, let the light in--
He slaps the kitchen table.
--the words blow out
and blank pages
hang in my mind.
She laughs and lights a cigarette
from the burner beneath the Bialetti.
Sounds like heaven, she says.
A blank page is an invitation
to romp around and capture
flowers or Lake Michigan
or train tracks at dusk
when the platform’s
empty save for you
and your stranger.
Even her cigarette bears the prints
of her fingers in pinks and greens
when she sets it down, smiling.
What’s wrong with making a mess?
After pouring coffee, he kisses her,
and it’s deep and clumsy and real.
The cups and saucers rattle
back to the bed they had left,
a twin-sized blank page
in the autumn light.