Inertia by Kim Dower

No I Don't Have a Light by Brett Stout

She sits on her bed all day every day,

wearing nothing but a stained smock

 

from yesterday’s closet. She holds a long

white candle under her chin but never

 

lights it. She is out of matches.

No evidence of nourishment, she’s sustained

 

by watching clouds hump like the oversized

white cushions plumped behind her motionless

 

body. A spider twirls its web at the base of the bed,

her tired feet caught in its silken embrace.

 

She listens to the crows graze their black

taffeta feathers against the dry faded rose’s

 

brittle petals, roses she can’t water, hose

she can’t lift, garden faucet she can’t turn on.

 

She will, however, brush her teeth twice

every day. Leaves her bed for the bath where

 

her toothbrush sits straight up in its elegant

highball glass. She does this because she was told

 

inertia can lead to bleeding gums,

the one thing she cannot abide.

Author Bio
Kim Dower’s first book of poetry, Air Kissing on Mars, was published in October 2010 by Red Hen Press. Her poems have been published in the Seneca Review, Ploughshares, and her poem, “Why People Really Have Dogs,” is a Finalist for the 2011 Rattle Poetry Prize competition and can be found in the winter issue of Rattle.