South Paw

It’s not because I reached up
and tucked your hair behind
your ear in front of Michael
on Halloween, or the sex
in my truck in the tattoo shop
parking lot or that time
you were yellowed by the sun.

It’s the not knowing what to call you
to my coworkers. It’s mistaking
your silence for business. It’s the look
in your eye the night when
Max flew in. The buzz of a coil
machine. The creak and moan
of the stairs in your rental house
on Roslyn Street. The corner
of a condom wrapper
on your floor. How sleeping
next to you feels like a funeral.
That loving you is a pain
I enter alone.

Layla Lenhardt is an Indianapolis based poet. She is Editor in Chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has been most recently published in Rust + Moth, Sad Girls Club, Poetry Quarterly, and Pennsylvania Literary Journal. She is a 2021 Best of the Net nominee and a 6th place finalist in Poetry Super Highway’s 2021 Poetry Contest www.laylalenhardt.com

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