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The Starkey Flythe, Jr., Memorial Prize

Teressa Haskew

 

Hemp Hearts

These days I wake to my new neighbor,

       a mahogany goddess a floor above,

our clocks synchronized for five,

       picture her slipping

from between silk sheets,

       naked maybe,

while I shrug off an old cotton gown

       damp with restless sweats.


Soon she’s busy juicing

       blueberries or bananas,

perhaps with a measure of flax,

       or hemp hearts—

her high-torque blender

       trembling my Mr. Coffee.


I hear her dryer drumming

       wrinkles from her yoga clothes,

sleek florescent pinks I covet,

       buttoning into my business blouse,

wriggling on a pair of hot hose,

       silently totting up the years

till I can afford to retire.

Maybe then I’ll get myself a dog

       like hers,

a small red sausage thing

       whose nails tap a nervous SOS

on slippery faux wood floors—

       whose ceaseless soulful mourning

the moment I am gone

       tells the whole world

just how much I am loved.