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Stir This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
     Stir
Long fingers fasten every last button
on her blouse, covering up her skin, soft like milk.
He is still watching her; she wishes he would stir
or move or do something so that by chance she might catch
him looking. She doesn’t like it so blatant. She waves a tiny good-bye and slips
out the door, and as she passes the doorman, her cheeks burn.
Outside on the city sidewalk, she can feel the sunlight burning,
so she stops to unbutton
her cardigan to cool off. She slips
the barista a tip and turns to add milk
to her Earl Grey. Hundreds of people scamper down the concrete stairs to the train, she among them, listening for its rumble, its deep underground stir.
As she sits, wobbling a little with the train, she waits for the stir
of her heart, trying to feel that familiar burn
of exhilaration that used to catch
her off guard every time she left him. Lights flash, urging her to hit the receive button
on her phone. It is her manager, telling her to milk
the new client company for all it is worth. As she nods in assent to the eyeless plastic, she self-consciously tugs over her knees her satin slip.
The last in the surge, she barely manages to slip
between the closing metal doors. A familiar face temporarily stirs
her imagination, and she holds his gaze, longing to milk
the moment as she has done so often. They hold until her eyes burn,
and she breaks and turns as a button
of a tear slides down her face. She doesn’t stop to catch
it. A rainstorm catches
her once she is above ground. The water slips
through cracks and down drains; it falls in puddles, making buttons
and ripples on the surface, stirring
up tiny storms. Kohl runs into her eyes; they burn
until she mops them with her towel and green tea, milk
for her spicy itch. Sitting on the fire escape, her eyes milk
on the page with the glaze that is becoming increasingly familiar. Why has it become so hard to catch
her heart, catch her mind, make her burn
again? Anything to slip
past this dull sleep; anything to stir.
The past has almost been sealed by a solitary row of buttons.
She takes her milk to slip to sleep
Catch some dreams, life will stir
Burn her soul, then turn it off with the push of a button.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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SmileitsCaroline This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm:
I don't understand how no one has commented on this. Too exquisite for words. Beautiful job.
 
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