CL Bledsoe: “The woman in the apartment across from me”




hasn’t cried in three days. That was when
they took her son away. Many mornings,
I’ve hidden in my living room, him screaming
while she dragged him to the bus. She stands
at the window between our apartments, smoke,
forgotten, in her fingers. Her eyes, a bramble
at night. What’s behind them is what waits
at the bottom of the whirlpool. She says
it was his meds. She didn’t know they’d do that
to his liver. She held his hand as he went
the first time. The second, she’d dozed off,
but the last one, she was there. I stand
in the hallway with her until I’m an hour
late for work–text my boss to say I have car
trouble. The next day, I do it again. I have nothing
to give her. I don’t even know her name.


CL Bledsoe is the author of more than twenty books, including the poetry collections Riceland, Trashcans in Love, Grief Bacon, and his newest, Driving Around, Looking in Other People’s Windows, as well as his latest novels Goodbye, Mr. Lonely and the forthcoming The Saviors.

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