Leah Poole Osowski
| poetry


They were tied, this couple, not knotted—strands looped and holding each other
together—but even. Not the even that’s caged within revenge, but even like
bangs cut straight across a forehead. No stray hairs. They lived at a finish line by
the ocean and were always crossing doorways at the same moment. Each
entrance and exit tasted of winning. He restored old sailboats and she would
stretch the worn canvas masts he removed and paint them with green, orange,
and violet. At night they would lie down and line up their parts: her arm-span
equaled his height and vise versa. On their backs, they’d lay a level across the
gap between their hipbones and watch the air bubble slide to the middle. Until
the night she woke to the sound of his legs getting longer. Like the moon on a
slack tide, there’s always something outside, pulling. In the kitchen, she took the
lids off the jars of flour and sugar and saw their powders lying at angles. She
shook the contents smooth, leaving clouds of dust on the countertop and drifted
back to bed. But her searching fingertips only brushed his wrist. She felt
lightheaded like he was overusing the oxygen supply in the room with his slow,
even breathing. In the morning they sat down next to one another and collected
their tears into two tiny bowls. As hers brimmed she looked at his, barely
halfway full.

Leah Poole Osowski received an MFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in Black Warrior Review, New Delta Review, Weave, and are forthcoming in Painted Bride Quarterly and Third Coast.

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