By Jennifer Schomburg Kanke

The water cooler bitches come and go
talking of hair crimpers and Day-Glo,
shag carpets and avocado-green fridges,
all those little decorative memories
we like to think we share.
Stop before you try to join them,
stop before they give you those weird-ass looks,
before you think you can share your stories too.
Don’t say your mother hung some fugly, old rugs
over fist holes in the doors, trying to get away with
calling them tapestries. They will only focus on the holes.
When they’re from (always), who made them (everyone),
why they never got fixed (fuck you), and not
what hid the holes, not why you’re telling
this all in the first place.

Come find us.

We will tell you we camouflaged our wounds
with Eddie Vedder on the cover of Rolling Stone,
veer off into the time we busted the storm door
when our brother locked us out. We will go
back and forth with laughter. Come share yourself,
all your broken glass and splintered wood,
your rust and warts and mold. We know you
are not looking for (much) sympathy
or some badge-of-honor shock. You are just
looking to tell us who you have been,
who you are, to see and be seen,
to do it this way we do it, we humans here on Earth.

Jennifer Schomburg Kanke’s work has recently appeared in Prairie Schooner,
and Pleiades. Her chapbook, Fine, Considering, about her experiences undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer, is available from Rinky
Dink Press. She is a reader for Emrys and serves on the Board of Directors
for Anhinga Press. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she lives in Tallahassee,
Florida, where she edits confidential documents for the government.

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