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Red Paint

/kate sweeney

Domesticated Tanka

You smell like clean goat, sickening jacaranda. We unpack a bowl of fruit, blistered tomato, limes rotten from too much love.

I rescue the soap from the yard. Buckets, clothes pins, a dildo. When the in- side moved outside, I failed to take into account the pain.

Just inside the door you left me a pair of brass balls you used to use your mouth to slip in and out of my body years ago. Remember?

I hope you will see my ass pushed toward you across the quilt made by our mothers, as you scroll through your phone and stare at young women.

Paintings on the wall I never liked, but never told you. You left, now I tuck the sheets tight into the mattress of emptiness.

I lay on our bed, missives addressed to no one rouses the hasty thunderstorm, my hands find a home inside myself, finally.

Kate Sweeney has poems most recently appearing in Northwest Review, Muzzle Magazine, Jetfuel Review & other places. Kate has a chapbook, The Oranges Will Still Grow Without US [Ethel 2022]. She is Marketing Director for The Adroit Journal & Word is Bond Reading Series and resides in Los Angeles.

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