When I went swimming in the summer, I met a girl who met me by the ankles
first. She trapped them in her hands like a dustpan shouldering glass, a shelf
holding something shattered. She took me home, and before I grayed the pane
of her couch cushion, I had to answer. The last I loved removed my Achilles
tendon in surgery. Yes, I volunteered. The tiny knives he used left lipsticked
kisses on the skin. The gauze wrapper, the sash to my wedding dress. At this,
she dipped her head, her blonde hair trickling away in a gilded river. I was
a vinyl with its rings smoothed away. I didn’t age. I was a flat disc, a sliver of space, one to turn in her palms like a talisman. She perched on the throne
of my hips, and felt lighter: her body hollowed in the same way that allows
bird to take flight. My fingertips paced over her nape. We kissed like we were
two cobras tussling in grass, and one had just cast its scaled body over
its opponent’s, sent it down the well into shadow. At the end, car keys
sat in a lattice on the coffee table. There was her: somewhere I wasn’t.
Lake Vargas primarily writes poetry and creative non-fiction. Her work has been published by Empty Mirror, The Cerurove, and Homology Lit, among others. She tweets at @lakewrites. More of her work can be found on her Tumblr, @stonemattress.