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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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NAKED

 

is the house next door

with sun-bleached floors,

outlines where long rugs

once lived,

with empty shelves

and scrubbed white tile,

and toilets howling

emptiness.

 

It is a bamboo stalk,

stripped and strapped

to a ceramic bowl,

water spilling

from its lips.

 

It is the smooth,

then jagged, rip

of soul

as one more person turns

to leave.

 

It is her tiny

body, all alone,

bed sheets pulled off,

nightgown rolled up,

thrown into a plastic

bag.

 

Naked.

Moon on this night,

its gown, dark cotton,

snapped and awkward

at the seams, waiting,

waiting,

hour by hour,

for dawn’s cool fingers

to release.


            —Jean C. Howard