‘The Next Day’ & ‘Eye Contact’ by J.L. Smith

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The Next Day

Alone,
I felt the bed sheets for the first time,
rough like the 100-count fibers they are,
made coarse like a cat’s tongue
on tender skin,
itchy on the naked hip.
Last night the sheets felt supple,
camel hair,
buttery suede,
when I was under you.
Burgundy in color,
not faded as they are now
with the sun penetrating
through cheap curtains,
squinting eyes.
Color fades,
drained,
like you from me.
A cheap imitation
that longed to be something
it will never be.

Eye Contact

He looks at her as he strokes her,
like a cat: good kitty, good kitty.
But, the blonde is a mixed signal:
part receptive to his cuddles,
wet kisses on the neck;
part not,
pulling back
as much as his grip
around her waist will allow.

She sees all around her
in the java line,
but dares not make eye contact,
does not ask him to stop either,
as he looks behind him
to you,
seeking eye contact,
a notice,
but you look at the gluten free cookies instead.

Coconut gluten free cookies.

You won’t give him the validation,
even as he smooths his hands
over the rear of her jeans,
to remove her cell phone,
so that she can pay with it.

As he walks away,
his eyes remain on you.
You stare at her back,
urging
praying,
that she leaves him
and never looks back.

J.L. Smith has published two collections of poetry: Medusa, The Lost Daughter and Weathered Fragments, Weathered Souls. Her work has appeared in many literary journals and magazines. Follow her at her blog jlsmithwrites.com or Twitter @jennifersmithak.

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