11.2 (Winter 2007)   The 2River View   AuthorsPoemsPDFPast Issues2River

Anne Dyer Stuart

[envy is a nude door]
envy is a nude door that blends
into walls when it opens
chips scrapes knocks paint in a way only I
would notice
the wife that cleans once in a while
more so for company and then
with vigor
dust mitts, disposal toilet pads, ten-minute leave-on spray
last night’s dinner party
at a childhood friend’s
I knew her skinny, freckled, stealing change from her dad’s nightstand
so we could kneel in the aisles of the 7-11 and penny our way to snacks
yet last night’s shrimp casserole made me afraid
of calories of the girl I left behind
I was never that girl
never my skinny friend
mama always in my head counting
Snickers 280, M&Ms 270
upstairs her red-headed baby sleeps while
she and her husband talk enthralled
about his first crawl
first pull-up on tiptoe
and her mother warning
lower the crib
her mother was like mine
Jane Fonda in the tape deck, butt lifts by the outdoor pool
except her daughter is skinny in spite of it
I am a dough girl if I don’t watch it
childhood was never free why did I think so
we trick ourselves about those times
we were never different than we are


Across the lawn you drag your flip flops like a boy and I stare
what is it like to be so lovely in your bones
and if you do know why do you not tell
but sit with your feet separated by rubber, bars held
between your toes
I think you let me know you only as a man
when sometimes all I can see is the boy
the greater boy
wanting to show me how to live among leaf piles when October
still feels like June
jumping, diving
I must be alive too if I’m behind this window
watching like a woman would
not living like a man


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