a poetry e-zine

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Kayla McAuliffe

Modern Girls

 

My grandmother picked up hers at skating rinks.

She tells Katie and me the same stories each Christmas

that we come home boy-less, a Tom Petty song

she rewinds and replays. Back in her day she was

the roller skate queen. Every side-part hard-dick Joe

lined up to buy her ice-cream. I’ve seen her pictures

and it’s probably true, her lips the darkest

shade of gray in every black-and-white.

Enjoying it while you’re young, she says,

forgetting that we’re ten years older than she was

when she happily fettered herself to one man,

and seven months later my father was born.

It’s different now, of course. We have other things:

degrees and apartments and our stalled-out office jobs.
We meet guys in bars where the dim lighting works
to our advantage. We pay our half of the bill.

On our return flights to real life, Katie and I

play with our phones, laugh our glib millennium laughs.

We’ve learned to want the things we can get.

Contentment is a slight of hand.

 

 

 

A Pantoum, for Luke

 

I’m glad your Vicodin was upstairs
when you sat crying at the kitchen table
and considered overdosing.
You were too sad to leave the room.

When you sat crying at the kitchen table,
I’m sure you had very good reason, after all,
you were too sad to leave the room.
And yet I qualify my sympathy:


I’m sure you had very good reason, after all,
there always is that unnamable sadness.
And yet I qualify my sympathy.
You must try to see:


there always is that unnamable sadness
threatening to overtake you.
But you must try to see
beyond that terrible moment

threatening to overtake you.
It unsettles me, what I see
beyond that terrible moment,
such self-indulgence.

It unsettles me, what I see.
It’s why you could not swallow down the sadness
(such self-indulgence,
such thoughtlessness).

It’s why you could not swallow down sadness
and considered overdosing.
Such thoughtlessness, still
I’m glad your Vicodin was upstairs.

 

 

Kayla McAuliffe is currently an academic advisor, and formerly an English graduate from Southern Adventist University, where she edited the campus creative writing magazine. Her work has been published in the online journal Thick with Conviction.

Copyright 2014  Chantarelle's Notebook