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P O E T R Y
by Karen Eileen Sisk
Alone in my room, humid after a thunderstorm,
the boys’ muffled voices scratched at my ears
from their cushion and bedding fort down the hall.
I became a sleek sea lion, long-necked, thin-faced,
wanted to be wanted, doing as the naked women did
on Dad's basement-stashed unmarked video tapes.
I could roll around, and then bend my head back, pant
mouth open like a narcissus center, squeeze
my eyelids together tight and puckered as asterisks.
A nude, I walked into the bedroom where they played.
I meant to slide in, rub against at least one until he grunted
and fell, to build a like or a love with kindling and friction.
But my bare almond-sliver body grew their eyes as wide
as nightstand basins. They retreated under their suspended
blankets and sheets, and the sea lion I was turned to a slug.