Lauren Wells

An Elbow to the Back

Fuck language, she says
which is kind of funny
considering the way
she says her R’s
reminds me of the time
I tried paragliding
with a man who didn’t speak
English. He communicated
through sharp nudges & grumbles
lost in the stitch-work
of my harness & at first
I tried to pretend I understood
but after our ascent, nothing
either of us said would have
meant safety.

From our spot in the sky
she was a mute dot
& I had the quiet I needed
to address my concerns:

Why the condolence cards
with cats are always the first to go,

Why the moon looks more like a
toenail clipping than a crescent.

Flying next to me
a little man
with a bowl shaped back
a broom in his hand
gestures toward all
the little dots & says
Want me to sweep those up for you?

I want to shrug with indifference,
tell him it’s really up to him
what he does with that broom
but another elbow to my back
means it’s time for the descent.

Originally from upstate New York but now living in Brooklyn, Lauren L. Wells has a B.A. in English from Hobart & William Smith Colleges and plans to enter an M.F.A. program for poetry. When she’s not listening to Duran Duran or sifting through the unhealthy amount of squirrel-related media sent by friends, she can be found counting her freckles.

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