Last Night I Told a Stranger

By Mary Leauna Christensen

I am very go with the flow—


I used to wipe down airplane
trays only when they were sticky.


Now my hands have dried
from soap and alcohol.


But they are still the same
hands that fixed your hair


and earring against the pillow
that most likely was not silk

because we did not buy
the premium package


from the funeral home.
Everything is packaged nowadays.


I try not to use plastic bags
for produce. Not because


I’m environmentally conscious
but because I want to slow down

rot. Just a few weeks ago
I finely chopped cilantro and


green onion while the man
I was cooking for drank wine.

He was nervous and high
so we danced to the music


that came from his phone.
He tasted like peach Moscato.

I led him to my room
though I knew nothing would happen.


And by nothing
I meant between the two of us

because here I am
in bed and alone


wishing I could live in that sentence—
nothing will happen.

Mary Leauna Christensen, who resides in Mississippi, has also lived in southwest deserts, kudzu-infested Appalachia, and the Pacific Northwest. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Southern Mississippi. She is Managing Editor of The Swamp Literary Magazine. Her work can be found in Permafrost, Driftwood Press, and Sugar House Review, among other publications.

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