(From the Series: Souvenirs)

I fought to control
My anger as you
Ripped my blouse

To pieces then
Rearranged a sleeve,
A collar, a front

Lapel, a lacy
Cuff in an impossible
Formation to climb

Back inside.
The flatness of
The image was no

More a truth
Than was the flatness
Of the world

Before Columbus.
Yet you found
A way to make

Me close my eyes.
You intoned a prayer
Or psalm and each

Time I heard
An owl call after
Its kill, I shivered

Unless you tore
Another article
Of my clothing

To pieces again
And again,
Leaving nothing

Between us save
A few abstract


Laura Merleau was born and grew up in the Kansas City area. She received a doctoral degree in American Literature from the University of Kansas in 2000.  Her novella, Little Fugue, was published by Woodley Memorial Press in 1992. Her  poetry has recently been accepted for publication in Rougarou, Poppyseed Kolache, and Ragazine. An excerpt from her novel, Blood Sugar Jezebel, has been accepted for publication with The Survivor Chronicles.

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