underwear, or second chances by Nicole Lesnett


I.

i forgot what boys tasted like.

i forgot what it felt like to have a mouth on mine,

to stand barefoot on the dark hardwood

pulling on underwear in sweet morning light

as you lean into hands behind your head,

slightly smirking as you study my tan lines.

i forgot that i could sit cross-legged, naked

on endless amounts of white linens

and that someone would cup my ears and pull me closer.

i forgot maybe i wouldn't be the only one

to admire the hard metal slid through my nipple,

the only one to wake under the big picture window

holding big blue sky.

i forgot just how good it felt to have a mouth on mine.

II.

we do not call her grandma;

we call her elsa.

pinched lips and painted eyebrows,

she has few qualities

we consider motherly.

the last time we met,

she pinched her pinched lips some more

about the thing in my nose.

(we said little else,

elsa and i).

but this time,

she didn't seem to see it when she looked

through me, asked me plainly, pleasantly,

who i was.

knowing she was supposed to know,

yet almost resigned

that she would no longer remember

this or

which son was which

or that the menu that looked just like

the one at the restaurant they always go to

was familiar because it was, in fact,

the menu at the restaurant they always go to.

this time, she stood half naked

shriveled legs in ruffled underwear

and slowly, oh

so

slowly,

tried to peel the sticker from the panty liner

she had already forgotten

how to use.

the sickly softness that had softened

the synapses between

mouth and memory

had seeped throughout her body,

spread to her disdain, so much so

that my eyes almost got so soft

they leaked. almost.

for the first time,

many years late but not too late,

she let me help her.

*image by Tal Shochat

#poetry

 

 

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