a list of things i’ve touched:
cigarette butts shoe shined with lipgloss
my key fob clutched, knuckles catching tears.
the sticky, hollow plastic of an airline tray
hands pressed on the cold stone of a ruined city;
the distance between us an undetonated landmine, held,
in my tender, nerve-wracked palms.
i’ve traced the grain of wood softened by sunlight,
seized fistfuls of sheets,
felt hand-me-down white gold;
my own thighs, pliable
my own breasts, nostalgic
bottle caps and necks
the smooth, indifferent end call button.
cereals bowls, remote controls, bubble bath
i have pushed back against the domestic, stray-haired wave at the local pool;
hot on a july morning, i felt the lanugo of my firstborn.
the indentation of words on a page
pressed too harshly to be considered casual,
the cool paper cut edge of a calendar
and countless spines of books i assault
with greedy fingers, hunting
for the exact prose to answer my dissertation question:
can i ever wash it off?
Lauren Ebright is an emerging writer living and forgetting to breathe deeply in the Pacific Northwest. Her work can also be found online at Dime Show Review.