Iowa Writes

WILL SMILEY


She lay next to me.
We could see the lights
of the city through the glass:
Sacramento. Longing to
touch her, I touched her.

Then the door to the room
began to open. Excuse me,
we cried, but the person, a man,
entered anyway,
and there was a woman behind him.

When he realized what had been going on, he
started backing out of the room. She didn't.
Please leave, I said, please just leave.

Why did she remain there?

I'm here, she said, because
of the things you've taken from me.

She was referring to some things
that had been left in the auditorium.

But nobody knew who those things
belonged to, I said,
so I took them home with me.
It seemed perfectly acceptable
at the time, and whoever reads this
will know that what I am saying is right.

She lay next to me.
We could see the lights
of the city through the glass:
Sacramento. Longing to
touch her, I touched her.

Then the door to the room
began to open. Excuse me,
we cried, but the person, a man,
entered anyway,
and there was a woman behind him.

When he realized what had been going on, he
started backing out of the room. She didn't.
Please leave, I said, please just leave.

Why did she remain there?

I'm here, she said, because
of the things you've taken from me.

She was referring to some things
that had been left in the auditorium.

But nobody knew who those things
belonged to, I said,
so I took them home with me.
It seemed perfectly acceptable
at the time, and whoever reads this
will know that what I am saying is right.

Nevertheless,
she stood there, and she
said she would stay until
two hours had passed,

then she sat down
in front of the television,
and began watching.
I focused on the brick
and grid of mortar on the wall
behind her, and imagined the room
without a television.

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


WILL SMILEY

Will Smiley received his MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was a Provost Writing Fellow for 2006-07. His poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Fence, NEO (Portugal), and elsewhere. "She" was first published in The Iowa Review.

This page was first displayed
on May 11, 2009

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