The Ex Reflects
By Jennifer C. Chapis
Today I realized my fear of belt buckles.
Honestly, I don't know who or what to hold accountable
for the uncontrollable cringing that takes over when I hear it—
the keen clang—
man in the next stall dropping his slacks,
belt buckle, the tile floor.
And the lighting suddenly like creamed corn.
I haven't been home in years. We owned cats, but
I can't remember
which ones are still alive.
Just like my mother always said,
"I had a great childhood."
These days, love feels like a crimping
iron or an ice cream smorgasbord—
her sweet-shoulders one at a time...
I feel locked,
(a belt has a raw health all its own),
alternate arm wrestle,
that urgent effort to refrain