by Hollie Dugas
This little lady sits on a park bench next to you,
a tiny orb of spiders, waiting for a human hand
to touch her. Romantic actually, what she will do
to get you to take her home. This is not about love;
it’s about incubation. She is an evolutionary
and she will move through you in just a week
like a hot hot wave. It’s impossible to pinpoint
what day she slunk inside you. And you are full
of her now; she is in your eyes, nose, mouth.
Afraid to take her anywhere—she is linked
so loosely to your arm. Someone might snatch her
from you. Take in a lungful and let her flood.
You are all hers now. She is claiming widowhood
early. But, you can’t leave her, you cannot unstick
her from your breath, not after living so close together.
Isn’t she the kind of lover you’ve always wanted?
An apocalyptic baby, one who could ruin you,
a real Juliet to drive you to the end of thinking,
the type that gets you scrutinizing
what exactly you will live for when it’s all over.
Hollie Dugas lives in Louisiana. Her work has been selected to be included in Barrow Street, Reed Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Pembroke, Salamander, Poet Lore, Watershed Review, Whiskey Island, Chiron Review, Louisiana Literature, and CALYX. Hollie has been a finalist twice for the Peseroff Prize at Breakwater Review, Greg Grummer Poetry Prize at Phoebe, Fugue’s Annual Contest, and has received Honorable Mention in Broad River Review. Additionally, “A Woman’s Confession #5,162” was selected as the winner of Western Humanities Review Mountain West Writers’ Contest (2017). She is currently a member on the editorial board for Off the Coast. Dana Carlson is a painter, illustrator, and web developer (by day) living in the lovely, leafy borough of Queens in New York City. This piece is called “Almost Batik Landscape 2.”