Winter 2017 — THE POTOMAC

Three Poems

Stephen Jarrell Williams



On purpose
She stepped on my bare foot
At the boardwalk thick crowd
Blocking my way
Facing me with hands on her hips
Smiling like I had just won a prize instead of pain
My big toe throbbing

She was light framed but had on some black heavy boots
The heels worn probably from stomping on toes

I grimaced
Standing there staring down at her

She was closer to old than young
Like me

A beauty once
But now a valuable antique
A tight–eyed goddess with everything still perky

She said
I can fix that

I said
My toe?

She said
Your life...

And she did.


The Waves

She would come home when I least expected her
She had a knack for that

Rushing up and holding on to me
Like she hadn't seen me in years
When it was actually only a few days

And those following nights
We would drown ourselves

She was expert at pouring herself all over me
Steam rising from my body
Again and again she smothered me
Until I awoke with her note taped on the mirror

It read...
I know you

What you like
And when you like it

Always leaving a little sand in your bed.



Her death magnifies
Especially when I close my own eyes

Her scent coming in with the waves
People on the boardwalk talking
Moving on behind me in their dull ways

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