by Kate LaDew 

it’s that kind of dark exactly

like in those silent films, when the man tenderly puts his arm around the woman’s back, under her knees,
lifts her white and black body, carrying her to a bedroom the audience never sees if you look close enough, you can watch her soft lips mouthing
if you drop me, you bastard, I’ll break your neck, as the title card reads oh, how I do love you so. when you arms circle clumsily, lifting my faded tan, blue-veined body, it’s that kind of dark exactly, and I say the words out loud, no camera to catch me, I’ll break your neck — but if you look close enough, press your ear to my chest, curl your fingers under my ribs,
if you read me like braille, oh, how I do love you, how I do love you so.

one day, I break off shards of my sandwich,

careful to throw only the pieces free from egg and mayo, watch the ducks circle, shoot their beaks down, recoil, blue-black eyes expectant.
I wonder if they’re waiting for another throw, or searching my own eyes for the names of the unborn birds settling in my stomach.
I wait. they wait. a shrapnel of bread hits the water, and we all lean back, satisfied.

one day both Bach and Handel were blinded by the same ophthalmologist,

so it’s no stretch to believe you and I were ruined by the same man,
you as a teenager, me before I was born,
you ducking your head from every touch,
me watching strangers,
looking for those eyes you say you’ll never forget
a man-shaped nightmare we both fall asleep to

About the Author

kate ledew

Kate LaDew is a graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BA in Studio Art.  She resides in Graham, NC with her cats, Charlie Chaplin and Janis Joplin