Catching The Drift
by Karen Loeb

The man you love

did the laundry last night.

You go to get dressed in the morning

and most of your clothes are missing.

The ones he did bring back

have shrunk to the size of dollar bills.

You call the laundry.

A woman tells you a man with a beard

and a mole behind his left ear

and one where she couldn’t mention

asked the laundry to donate clothes

to Goodwill.

The description is that of your lover,

but it could be someone else.

Your clothes begin to surface

on the racks of Goodwill.

Your favorite jeans with the strawberry decal

are priced

higher than you paid for them.

A large dog with a traveling flea circus

is lying on your side of the bed.

You sleep on the edge of the mattress

and dream that Copernicus thought

the world was flat.

You draw a picture

and your pencil points keep breaking.

The pencils were presented

by your lover

after he sharpened them

especially for you.


You send the man you love a letter,

even though he lives in the same house.

It’s returned


with an inky finger pointing to the phrase

“Addressee Unknown.”

You buy back your jeans from Goodwill

and wear them like exhibit A

around the house.

He doesn’t seem to notice

and something is wrong with the zipper.       

You die.

Your lover buys a marble plaque

that sits on the ground.

Everyone says how beautiful it is,

how much he must have loved her.

Weeks later

you are in your eternal nap

and you hear

brush-step, brush-step

click click


The dance shoes he ordered through the mail

have finally come.

The lessons he always talked about

have begun.

Ryan Francesconi

Copyright © 2016, Otis Nebula Press. All rights reserved.