Lauren Plitkins received a BA in English and Creative Writing from the University of St. Thomas in 2010 and is currently an MFA candidate at Pacific Lutheran University. She lives in Seattle, WA where she writes and teaches. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in So to Speak, Meat for Tea, Blast Furnace, Wrist Magazine, Post Defiance, and Sundog Lit.
Her hunger for earth, the cloc-cloc of her parents’ bones, the impatience of her blood … were relegated to the attic of her memory. -Garcia Marquez from 100 Years of Solitude
She stores her name in the kitchen,
on a shelf near the salt—
eats each letter with every meal.
In the morning she dresses
in crape and corduroy and wonders
if these clothes are the clothes of a woman
who can forget. She knows
hidden stairs, long string;
she hears the attic’s scent
as it snakes broad belly across floorboards.
She sleeps just after dawn
for thirty minutes, wearing history
down with suffering.
She had asked the years to pile on,
youth feeling too light,
and earth was obliging.
She’d need a casket to find silence,
but she searches in this stucco house
for peace, in the corners and closets,
behind the breathing windows
where she sits to synchronize her lungs
with the glass. She calls this life.
She rubs a yard of cloth
between two cold hands for friction,
rips out yesterday’s long row of stitches.
She is hiding her blood
that pulsed in rhythm to a man’s,
hiding hunger and bones
in a whitewashed house
that sighs graveyard winds all night.