14.1 (Fall 2009)   The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFMake the MagArchives2River
Bird Detail

Regina McMorris

Déjà Vu

My psychic visions come
in flashes. Not really a skill
I can hone, perfect, or market.

As a child I'd see an image
in my head — silver spokes
of a blue bicycle, for example — and later

while standing in my driveway: a boy
new to the neighborhood, riding
his blue bike, spokes shining. Today,

in my psychic eye, or maybe just
the one that makes metaphors, I see myself
falling to the floor. On my way down, I reach

for the neck of a man. If I miss, I grab
his collar. Either way, we are
both going down. If my grip loosens,

I kick his feet
out from under him. Either way,
we're both hitting the floor. Not

a flashing vision, no silver spoke. More like
the smallest mole on my face,
what I never noticed until now.

Without Deodorant or Sweat

there's a clean mustiness, natural
odor of the armpit. It reminds me
of a time when loving included
a wonder at the body's strangest
scents: earwax when whispering
to my ex: You smell like
peanut oil.
Skin is
so close to earth, one attracts and clings
to the other. This scares me.

I'm a natural mess,
dirty clothes on my desk,
scattered papers. Meanwhile,
a guy I know, happy to finally
live alone, gave me

a tour of his new home:
from the front door
to the bedrooms not a single stray
T-shirt or cracker crumb, not even
a CD case open on the coffee table.
No risk of bodily memory,
no lingering scent,
or accidental inhale:
skin, hair, breath.

Regina McMorris, from Houston, Texas, holds an MFA in poetry from Purdue University. Her work has previously appeared in Gulf Coast, Mid-American Review, and REAL. She teaches developmental writing at Prairie View A&M University. contact