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The Mood This Afternoon

by Krista Halverson


At the door is an oven mitt
attached to a Sister whose face is red
in the steam of soup.

Perfumes slosh in the bottles she dusts
around. She's very good
at cleaning me up and the traces of me.
I would like to go out

with a squirt on each wrist, my best
clothes heavy and wet with scent.
Until I can't smell anything but me.

I should have a dozen more pictures
of myself, in frames. There are babies floating
on all the walls of this house.

Here is what else I want, in writing, so you can't
forget: my daughters to sit in piles
of my clothes. My sons to stumble
on my pearls, clicking
on the bottom of the drawer. Someone
who looks like me
to bring the youngest home from school.

And one more thing,
I look like a witch, and someone
ought to tell me.