Slipped Under Your Door

I don’t know what to do
with the kettle bells of your words
because the curl of your hair
just above your ear
makes my fingers itch
My thoughts spin around
the rollercoaster of my mind
but never make it out of my mouth
Their screaming stays with me
So this is how I speak
In thoughts that come hours after
In smooth lines strung with all
that I wanted to say when I couldn’t
While your quick questions skipped
across the pond of my stillness
I turned inward
looking for answers
collecting in the deep
hiding from prey in dark crevices
until breaking at the surface
my response found the sun set
the breeze cool
You were no longer there to hear

Instead my voice traces itself
onto this thin paper
my answer
for now
for you to read

How can I think about a future
when I’m still busy fitting myself
into everyone else’s playlists
trying them on for size

There’s no need to respond

Or you can

Just know I’ll need time
to get into my wet suit

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About the Author

Poetry is my caffeine. My many roles in life (so far) have included teacher, school counselor, bookmobile driver, furniture factory worker, volunteer coordinator, daughter, aunt, wife, mother, reader and writer. My book Buried in the Suburbs was published in 2018 by Woodley Press (2019 Kansas Notable Book Award. My chapbook Domesticated: Poetry from Around the House was published in 2015 (Finishing Line Press). For a complete list of publications see

Jamie Lynn Heller
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