Me as Penelope Asking: What If We Didn’t Lie Talking After? What if the night was not extended by other capable godly hands and we just rose right after, me scuttling to wash myself in another room? What would be lost without our stories, or not even our stories, but chit-chat, dreamy musings? You do well stroking my hip bone, absently, looking up at where Vega sits in the Lyra well beyond the rafters and the roof this mid-winter while I confess of minor infractions or call up some memory thought long forgotten. You share yours in a satisfied tone in turn and turn to hmm and ah. Our bodies cool. The furnace ticks somewhere beneath us. To the west the river still makes its slow way south under ice.
Me as Penelope Speaking of the Plows Coming Late
We wake as if they are ships trawling the ocean floor, scraping clean what they can gather. Why I think of whales with their ways of communication I do not know, though, nearer, there is the sudden rounding of corners and what resembles the banging of copper pots in distant rooms. You fall back asleep in a fashion only men I know of are capable while I lie worrying over whom I bore years ago, and how far. This new snow lights the room almost enough to read by. Certainly: to see my hands with their useless gestures.
-- Kelly R. Samuels is the author of the full-length collection All the Time in the World (Kelsay Books) and three chapbooks: Words Some of Us Rarely Use, To Marie Antoinette, from and Zeena/Zenobia Speaks. She is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee with work appearing in The Massachusetts Review, RHINO, River Styx, Sixth Finch, and Court Green. She lives in the Upper Midwest.