The Other Lauren

Lauren Tess
| poetry
I’d just been to Goodwill
	++and the recycling center
when I pulled up beside the other Lauren
	++returning from a run.

I was feeling light, blithe with the lifted weight
	++of unwanted stuff dropped off
	++and I let the car idle
while we talked through the open window.

I had finally finished applying to grad schools
	++and the horizon past the low uplands north
toward Tontitown was purpler than usual,
	++colored by some unknown front.

With the engine chugging, the car light
	++and primed to drive, I talked freely
	++with the other Lauren about dogs,
laptop problems, cookies and champagne.

Everything I said was right
	++and everything she said was right too,
and the sun dipped
	++beckoning me

to keep being free, to indulge the illusion
	++of a profligacy of options,
	++to live in endless evening
just words and Laurens and burning gas.

Lauren Tess’s poetry appears or is forthcoming in Meridian, Cimarron Review, Tar River Poetry, and Atlanta Review. Lauren is the recipient of a 2021 Open Mouth Poetry Residency in Fayetteville, AR.

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