Back to Issue Twenty-One.

the other woman



When will you leave him?
Her sweat your coronet.
The body
as an assemblage of exit points.
As paperweight & lever.
As secret on
another tongue made real
in lightning         -flashes
between incisors.

The boyfriend’s underwear
pinned to her hips
your mouth’s unwavering mark.
Time winnowing a door
down to the shape
of two fingers
held only
with the raw clutch
of her body
keeping you inside her.
The same grip of thief on rope
before it becomes
the hangman’s noose:

the moment of discovery
crystallizing into the shape
of a boy’s fist. Your
name distilled
into fling
also meaning fire.
is what comes
when a woman does not sink
as expected.

You swum through that river
when you held a girl in
her fiancé’s bed
& allowed her to peel you
like rind of fruit
she could not swallow.

Her hair dark reeds
or river snakes.
Her wet mouth the rupture
between your name
& what

she made you.

Natalie Wee is the author of Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines (Words Dance Publishing, 2016). Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, PRISM International, This Magazine, and more. She has been nominated for the 2016 Best of the Net Anthology and a Pushcart Prize. Find more at

Next (Matthew Gellman) >

< Previous (Brittany Perham)