I never tried harder than that
to disgust you without even speaking—
Cowered in the bathroom I saw our faults
on the linoleum floor, slam-dancing.
Our faults had their hands in each other’s mouths,
they were picking teeth out like fresh flowers.
I scooped all the molars into a towel,
rinsed them in my bath water.
When you knocked, I slid the key under the door.
Our faults followed their mouths and began to drown.
You entered with a one-liner and a bag from the party store:
remember, we lost our class in a one-stoplight town—
in the tub you uncorked a bottle. Through the open window
we laughed red out until the house became a boat.
Rose Swartz is a writer and artist from Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has an MFA in Poetry from Arizona State University and a BFA in Photography from Western Michigan University. She doesn’t stay in the same place for very long. As of summer 2014, she’s heading from the Midwest to the northwest and possibly, subsequently south.