Every Other Thursday


we meet,
and I dash across the room
at his knock to open
and feel the heat of his body
engulf me like a blaze in my own galaxy.
He runs his rough tongue
over my salty skin
all of its parts, sunburnt and scarred,
and I crackle and burn,
the shock runs through me
like power to our bedside lamp.

Full orb of my body
curves and glows
arcs over and over the afternoon
in our roadside room,
deep in a universe of two,
curtains drawn,
glasses empty on the sink, bare,


I trace the angles of his face
to gently call him up from sleep
and hope he will wake to begin again.

The incandescent sphere outside our window,
casts a glow through the curtain,
a moon we have made our own.



Year after year,
there is the same room,
the same click of a key,
the same tumblers wrapped in waxy paper,
blinds drawn.

My ear, a shell-print tattooed on his shoulder
brands him mine as he sleeps.
Half-awake I dream of a future,
while unspoken words eat away
at an eroding shore
pounded by the sea.
He murmurs from a faraway island,
behind a barricade I cannot touch

I love you

as I wait…
as I wait,
and watch the motel’s plastic ball,
blink on
blink off.



On our last Thursday
a shiver breaks through the surface
of our silence
like unwelcome sunlight bruising the air.

You know, I hate my wife and never speak to her,

and I cringe, as I imagine her depth of loneliness,
a life dried up like a splatter
on the linoleum floor. I no longer
recognize his mouth
or the flesh of his belly,
the years worn down
to reveal their truth. Accustomed
to stroking his back,
my fingers lock themselves inside
their caged fists. I turn my head away.

Outside, the neon moon buzzes
sour and pungent,
the clock hums with its own dim circular story
not quite keeping the hour,

and for the first time
I notice
the small exit door sign:
How to escape
in case of fire.


Photo Credit: lagalag15 via Compfight cc

Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Vrenios

Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Vrenios’ poetry has appeared in Clementine, Silver Birch Press, Kentucky Review, Bethlehem Writers Roundtable and Silkworm, in forthcoming issues of Edison Literary Review, Crack the Spine, Poeming Pidgeon and Unsplendid. She co-wrote the book Party Line under the name Elizabeth Kirkpatrick. She has studied with Judith Harris, Gloria Boyer, Hailey Leithauser, Sue Ellen Thompson and Alexandra Van de Kamp. Elizabeth is a professor emerita from American University in Washington DC, having chaired the vocal and music departments. Vrenios’ solo recitals throughout the United States, South America, Scandinavia, Japan and Europe have been acclaimed, and as the artistic director of the Redwoods Opera Workshop in Mendocino, California, and the Crittenden Opera Workshop in Washington D.C. and Boston, she has influenced and trained students across the country. She is a member of the international Who’s Who of Musicians, and is the past National President of the National Opera Association.

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