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Nadine Klassen

Darius, I've Stopped Imagining Things

In the motel room,

I see my mother's flares, two-stepping

in the curtains. My dad's perm

in the carpet-

chunk, lifted by the skirting

boards that widen towards the corner:

the left trumpet sleeve of my mother's tie

dye shirt – if I put my hands into the hairspray

slings like hers – splinter

and nail, touched his face

against the clock, the floor would turn chestnut

and I would still be

copper. The 70's

came here a little late;

Dancing in the Dark plays: old lightbulbs

skim my body, draw assumptions

of movement onto the wall.

A mattress, acoustic

like their Manta's reclined

back seats, seven cable

bracelets around the elbow

of a lamp – the light of my father drives

in the yellowed shade.

Tussles, like the curve

of his receding hairline.

My mother's crochet top hangs in the door

window of the bathroom. A joint

she swears never to have smoked

is stacked by the sink; rolled soap, lit

white, bubbling –

My mother keeps her long hair.

The delivery room blossoms twice

with blue balloons, budding-

basin haircuts and toy cars

like a pebbled path to the play room.

I have not even been a kiss, yet.

When you call

with an unknown number,

there isn't anyone here

to imagine it's you.


Nadine Klassen (she/her) is a German poet and author of the chapbook Bruises, Birthmarks & Other Calamities (Cathexis Northwest Press, 2021). He work focuses on identity, mental health and relationships. It has been published by The Write Launch, Kissing Dynamite, Abandon Journal, and others. She lives in her hometown with her fiancé and their dog.

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