Nailing Things Down
may also kill them,
but she had no great plans
to live happily ever after.
Today is all she could manage,
that & the breathless sounds of Pres,
tamping down the day’s anarchy.
Twenty years earlier, her voice left her,
so she quit smoking. When it returned
it was vibrating like a dusty contralto.
Today she smells facts:
the air thick with tomorrow’s rain,
a slow leak in the basement.
The five shots of Jameson on his breath.
His undershirt brushed with
someone else’s perfume, a scent
she’d worn in high school—Shalimar.
Twenty years ago, on a dime,
she’d have cut or shot him to clear
the air, but today is not that day.
Today she looks at her body
with some hesitation. It’s late
in the morning & the gravy’s
gonna run thin tonight.
Will she miss the wanting, the having or the gone?
Copyright © 2022 by Linda Susan Jackson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on February 4, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.