Amanda Laughtland

I suggested a bit of walking
to let our breath chill in front of us
in the air. She talked

like a kettle steaming the walls
in a close kitchen. Warm
and willing, I kept walking,

rubbing my hands, knowing
she'd draw them into her pockets.

In Public

Grasping the lapels of each other's jackets
until the noise of other people

broke us apart, we stepped away,
a little torture, a lot of glances,

fingers accidentally brushing. I'm not
very good at this. To be honest

I'm a bit out of practice. I swallowed,
my mouth gone dry. Her voice

in my ear, in a whisper: Not here.


My baby-dyke years, my first
potluck--all vegetarian dishes
all homemade, and all

I’d brought was a big box
of cookies. A brunette yelled,
Oreos!, and I remembered

holding handfuls of grain
on my uncle's farm, plenty
for every nuzzling mouth

in the warm rush of bodies.