even better | by Erika Walsh

i feel just like a fox. i’m standing at the bus stop in this faux fur coat i bought for ten dollars

at amvets. smoke comes out of my hands. a man

on the bench says you coming from work i say no i am coming

from therapy. he says even better he says you single sweetie i say no

i have a girlfriend. i don’t know why i lie. actually

i do know. he says oh even better i say the bus comes in four minutes. he is grunting

and looking at me. my therapist rolls

up in her red car mouth open gaping steam

she almost runs the man over she scares him and says she will crush his hands into one million pieces. she looks at me she says i’m here to protect you

like a baby i nod we have this beautiful moment the man

on the bench falls all over almost bleeding he keeps saying you single he keeps saying this feels good yes great

even better. i tell him i hate

the weapon of your panicked body. i hate how you abuse the gift of vision

and of touch. his eyes roll in the hole of his head. his mouth opens

it’s red and it says evenbetter. i am still always tending

to the long throb of healing that comes and heaves inside of me ohbutevenbetter but i know

i am better than the foam and the salt of the sea i am always spit out of.



Erika is a poet and creative writing instructor living in NY, NY. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Hotel Amerika, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Peach Mag, Juked, and elsewhere. Her chapbook was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest. She is the co-founder and editor of A VELVET GIANT, an online genreless literary journal.

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