The Boiler

Geula Geurts

LAST NIGHT*

                                      after Marie Howe

Last night, the man in my bed asked
if he could fold his arm around my shoulder,

hold me, as we lay like two spoons
lightly touching in a kitchen drawer. So proper,

I whispered, my face turned the other way,
voice shaking. I want to be respectful, he said.

I imagine his eyes were closed, like mine.
I could hear the clock, the hand that marks the seconds,

a mosquito buzzing past my ear. I thought about
all the men who hadn’t asked, the time passed

since I last saw my father, how he tried
to hold on, and how I turned away.

A fan whirred through hot air into the direction
of my bed, strands of the man’s hair blowing across my face.

He held my hand till his breathing became deep
and he let go—fell asleep.

And soon after that, I too must’ve let go and fallen asleep.

____________________________

Geula Geurts is a Dutch born poet living in Jerusalem. She completed her MFA in Poetry at Bar Ilan University. Her mini-chapbook Like Any Good Daughter was published by Platypus Press. Further work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tinderbox Editions, Rogue Agent, Hermeneutic Chaos, Cactus Heart, Minerva Rising Press, The Fem, Mom Egg Review, Jellyfish Review, and others. She works as a Foreign Rights Agent at The Deborah Harris Literary Agency.

*”Last Night” appears in the mini-chapbook Like Any Good Daughter from Platypus Press.