This isn’t working. I can’t think
she said. Her voice was too flat
and he would be disappointed.
My thoughts aren’t connecting
she said. She meant the threads
tying one idea to the next idea
were frayed before she even knew
what to tie them to. Toby breathed
against her and hot electricity
should have leapt into her skin
and didn’t. She could almost never
persuade him to crouch on the floor
or in bed and now that he’d bent
for maybe the first time this winter
her body was asleep or dead.
She wanted to punch the soft fat
of her thigh. Or the thin hair
at the crown of his head. Lean in
she said, but too soft to be heard.
Lifted the keyboard and draped
its wire over his neck. This poem
his idea and maybe a conscious
effort to keep her from pulling
some pleasure out of his mouth.
She made nonsense of the keys
and felt blood in her neck veins
and thought of the other chairs
and the other dark wood desks
she could right now be slouched
at, with fresh breath on her skin.
In the cruiser’s backseat Erin became aware that her entire life was part of a science fiction tapestry. The blue dot on her knee wasn’t a scar from second grade that only her mother remembered but the clue to something darker. Her ability to hear voices blocks away wasn’t biological but indicative of a curious future. The uniform in the front bent over his clipboard listing her offenses and she felt sure this night was an introduction to her future, a dark scene shot on the curtains before they pulled back entirely, and rested easy in the possibilities with her head against the hard plastic back of the bench.