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Woman on Fire # 4


I cleaned house, pulled out

furniture of memories not moved in dog years

wiped up spilled disappointment crusted in corners

couches back, I vacuumed crumbs and caked-on tears

from under cushions of affection


I sorted, bagged and trashed

each smelly argument, lie, promise, stuffing

black bags, some slit from sharp edges,

drawers of shared secrets upside down,

recollection shelves emptied, wiped off


I combed through framed memories

taped torn portraits

realign snapshots cradled in plastic sleeves

pulled down boxes of songs, dances and laughter

to be catalogued and stowed deep in the basement


I stood in the middle of my new milieu

carefully laid as proof,

an invitation to resolve,

your aroma erased by a hint of myrrh

your touch peeled from my flesh pink from scrubbing


A knock and a whistle calls from the porch

I turn, latch on to what I believed to be gone

but there you are, a relaxed smile, casually leaning on

your banister of charm, scent of seduction

not needing to speak, patient, you, ready to light a fire.



Sharon Lopez Mooney, “Woman on Fire #4”, Mud Season Review, Issue #56, ed. Elaine Pentaleri & Nancy Volkers, Cold Lake Anthology, Burlington Writer Workshop, Burlington, VT, June 2021

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