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with a line from Frannie Lindsay

by Kathryn Bratt-Pfotenhauer

You too might, in the holiest hour of your life, reach for me. Who’s to say

when that will be? It could be your deathbed, with your family gathered around you, a wife

with stringy brown hair and a dog that chews your slippers. Or it could be tomorrow,

while you fuck your latest woman, kiss her leg as you hoist it over your shoulder. There

are angles to consider: anything looks holy if you put the right hat on it, give it the right

garb. Or maybe, the holiest hour was in that first night, already past wishing. I was no animal, but someone simply

naked in bed with you, face slackened with sleep, vein of drool connecting cheek to pillow.

The day had not broken open like an egg or an unkept promise. Dawn made its lazy overtures,

but stood outside the door. In the dark and hushed room where once you touched

me, you pulled on your clothes, and did not look back to see if I was awake. This is not a story about love. It is, however,

about someone you left behind. And I make a good saint, or at least something holy: I make no complaints.

I make no sound at all.

Kathryn Bratt-Pfotenhauer is the author of the full-length collection Bad Animal (Riot in Your Throat, 2023) and the chapbook Small Geometries (Ethel, 2023.) The recipient of a Pushcart Prize, their work has been published or is forthcoming in The Missouri Review, The Adroit Journal, Crazyhorse, Poet Lore, Beloit Poetry Journal, and others. They attend Syracuse University’s MFA program.


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