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Laura Villareal

Inside the Foxhole

My features are small,

expressionless. My lovers say

I look like a doll. Today

I climbed into a black dollhouse

& felt more at home than anywhere

I’ve ever been. The wild in me

stopped howling, stopped pulsing

through my legs. Egyptians used mirrors

to reflect light into dark spaces.

As I walk to my apartment, the buildings fill

dim streets with the last segment of sunlight.

I begin thinking of how the wetness

between my legs might spill out

of my black lace panties & fill the gutter

with quicksilver. The Gibbous Moon above

Newark Penn Station watches me.

I wait for her to call me, to say,

hide where I can’t find you.

She hasn’t called me by name

since I walked home

with runs in my stockings.

I heard her voice on the wind

once say: If we believed in God,

we’d both be damned. I told her

I liked soft violence best,

like a starling fallen into a foxhole.

But didn’t tell her I cried

during a dream I had

of holding my melting planet.

Above me, a plane flies

across the tangerine sky

leaving a contrail. Instead of one long, perfect

white streak, it comes out in Braille.

The contrail reads: Never have I been so alone.

With no way of feeling those words,

I walk more quickly. In my apartment,

I striptease for the woman I’m seeing.

She pushes me on my bed.

Her hands are cold. She licks quicksilver

from between my legs. Stops.

Says she can taste the champagne I drank—

can hear giddy bubbles filling each

& every one of my moans. Sometimes I want

to say: if only your body was a home,

if only I wasn’t hollow like a doll.


Laura Villareal is from a tiny town in Texas with more cows than people. She earned her MFA from Rutgers University--Newark. Her work has appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, Apogee, Sakura Review, Drunken Boat, Crab Fat Magazine and others.

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