Earning a Title

By Jaclyn Dwyer

Featured Art: Bouquet of Spring Flowers in a Terracotta Vase by Jan van Huysum

Your ex is a skinny girl. Skinny like sex-
starved cats, like tigers in Thailand teased
with soccer balls in plastic wrap. Your ex
is a crushed mustard seed. She stains our sheets,
cowers in soft earth, and runs from every room
I enter, wind teasing a tail. Your ex is a sieve,

a fallen kite, Cyrillic G, a flattened hook. You
ask if I love you. I answer, I do. Do you forgive
me? I do. Do you forgive her? I say I do, practicing
for what comes next, for the question she never got
asked. Will you? Do you take? The path to proving
my nubility is through humility. When she mocks
me on the Internet, pokes fun in posts, I laugh too.
Did I say nubile? I mean nobility. Really, I do.


Jaclyn Dwyer earned an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, where she received the Sparks Fellowship. Jaclyn’s work is forthcoming or has appeared in a number of literary magazines, most recently Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Witness, Copper Nickel, and Phoebe. She received a Kingsbury Fellowship at Florida State University, where she is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing. Her website is http://www.jaclyndwyer.com.

Piece originally published in NOR 13.

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