Work Clothes

Even folded over the back
of the chair, the shirt holds you.  
The pants, creased to the bends
of your legs, already worn

enough to never fit another.  
Naked, I touch them
as you come up behind me,
pull my pelvis back into yours.  

Already I am marking the you
I will miss, woven and worn
into seams, stitched into the fabric
that covers you. All these ghosts

of wanting. I pinch a button
for my lonely future
self, circle my finger
over the flat pearl.  

You tell me its time
to come to bed.  You.  
How you pulse, course,
move into me.  

But just for now, let me
keep you here, let me hold fast
to the husk of what you shed
in order to enter my body.


 

Pronouns: She/Her

2 Poems

Julie E. Bloemeke

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Work Clothes

Poem Before The Whitney

Poem Before The Whitney

                   - for Robert

Without weather, I would not
have come to this, settled onto

a stool, listening as one bartender
banters over bitters, strains the ice,

while another comes to me, slides
a napkin next to my notebook

and asks what I do.  And to hell
with it, I think, I am in New York.

So I go with the truth
and confess: I’m a poet.

He considers this.  Surprises me
because he does not say he is one too,

doesn’t regale me with some
conflated syrup of social media verse.

He even correctly references
Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,”

versus “The Road Less Traveled.”  
He doesn’t ask where

I’ve published
or joke about a beret.

Instead, he knuckle raps the bar,
says he will be back.  

And I continue to write, which
I now know is just to be writing.  

He returns with my Manhattan,
and pours himself a shot.

We lift our glasses in unison,
bring the ring of them together.

To the words! he laughs.
And after a long pull he says

it’s all on the house.
And I put down my pen,

because for right now
nothing could be better

than to leave it all
unfinished



 

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