[Realpoetik] . Sarah Heller .

RealPoetik Magazine realpoetik at scn9.scn.org
Sun Jul 6 10:42:32 PDT 2008

*Everyone's Ex-Girlfriend** *

Everyone's ex-girlfriend keeps showing up.
She surfaces when I've only just relaxed,
when I let things be
soft. I recognize her because I've been her so well.
*You have nothing to worry about*,
he says. *Why would I want someone*
*who tried so hard to hurt me*?
And then the distracted look.

She used to scream at everyone,
was the first to walk out.
Everyone's ex-girlfriend
had sex with their good friends
*during a phase*.

Everyone's ex-girlfriend is always
meeting everyone late at night.
Busy girl. He says
*Maybe I'll stop by after*
and then calls from home.
I say *Did you have a good time*
and he says *We've really grown apart.*
But I can picture the tall bar stools.

*You look great,* they might
say to each other, shiny eyes. *You always were*
*like that. Some things never change*.
It's snowing! The snow is in their hair.

When he says* It was wild to see someone*
*after so long*, I hear *Our skin was so cold*.

Everyone says
*I don't know who I am right now.
I feel like I haven't felt anything in a long time. *

*Alright*, he says to her,
*You're giving me a hard-on*.
*Really,* she murmurs. She is so mean.
Her drink splashes around in her glass.
*Touch it*, he says.

*My Life on a Conveyor Belt** *

Mostly, my lover lies there,
his soft penis against his thigh.
He is sleeping.  I watch him go by.
Then – the commandments.
And my body parts,
breasts falling to the side
snagging on the rubber,
hair flowing from a small white plate
covered with tildes.
The clear plastic bowl on top.
The hostess seats people all around me.
Desire shimmers by like the pavement
in sunshine.  My family is not on the belt,
they are in me.
The belt motors:
a beautiful soap dish,
a small machine.
Some soup, or at least a soupy substance.
Piles of sugar.
Plus one man.
My heart pounds.  Is it the sugar?
Fear like an animal crouching
at the night opening of a tent.  Dark
at first, and then the eyes adjust.

*Sarah Heller *received her BA from Bard College and her MFA in poetry from
NYU. She currently works as the Executive Director of the Authors League
Fund and teaches at Rutgers University. She has work published or
forthcoming in *Painted Bride Quarterly, Pembroke Magazine, NextBook The
Temple/El Templo, Thin Air, *and *Hayloft*, and she is on the board of
directors of Nightboat Books.  She has received fellowships or awards from
the MacDowell Colony, the Drisha Institute, Virginia Council for the
Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and the Soul Mountain Retreat.  She
was the recipient of the Nadya Aisenberg Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony
for 2005-2006.

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