Ursula


If you are looking for space by E. Howard on Hipstamatic

Ursula laughed at me.
She said: “Ha ha, people from
Iowa eat carp straight out
Of the Mississippi. And they
Like it!” The long wooden
Bench rolled like the river
Under her as she chuckled
And smoked and shoved
Around her blonde wings.

Part of my job was clearing
The Folgers cans of their
Butts, fingers moving through
Sand, which is what I was
Doing the day Phil told me
Some motel manager found
Ursula dead in her vomit.

Another day, while Steven and I
Pulled day-old donuts from
A trash bag, he gave me her story:
Chicago and pastry chef and hotel
Kitchens and dejected parents who
Sent her away to
Get some space.

And alcohol and shame.
That last bit
I’d seen already
In the hex of scars on her arms.
But I remember the damage
Second after I hear again
That garbled laugh
Over Iowans eating carp.

This post is part of a month-long series of #smallstones found here and on the web. Thanks to Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita from Writing Our Way Home for supporting a wonderful writing community.

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