Lauren Clark


The neighbor houses blanch
in the false dawn
beyond the bathroom

window. The skin on my arms
is patterned by your lace curtains,
or rather the lace curtains

that came with your house.
When I pull down my underwear
to sit, my voice

cracks in my throat
like a contracting accordion.
What is inside of me has

come out of me: clots
of late raspberry
clumping, soaked dark

along the seams
of my underwear. This
my body

reproducing the life
it has known: red,
dead, almost

illegibly weak
in your gray bathroom
light. I touch the dim

lumps of blood
softly, with my finger.
The stupid impulse

to keep them warm. I pull up my
panties. In my head I call them
panties. Then I wash my hands.

Lauren Clark earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in DIAGRAM, Ninth Letter, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and PANK, among other journals. She works at Poets House in New York City.