Trouble Child
art + literary magazine

Art + Lit


The delicate mechanics
tighten the scene until it ticks. Here,

the sink where I watch you wash
your hands. The crumbs you missed.
The living room where you almost let me—

I have this dream where you turn your mouth in my direction.
I have this dream where it’s yours. It’s all yours.
The television, yours. This dress. The portrait and the banister, yours,
yours. I can’t stop crying.
I still sleep in your bed.

Is this alright? Is this? Even this? Don’t ask what I mean.
Just nod. Just untie us.

In my head I track the clockwork, your perfect fingers. This is where I could turn,
and if you met me, it would all be over. If I could turn,
the little glass bulb shuddering and looking away, even the dark
could exhale, finally. Finally. So,

I turn, and behind me, the door. Always the door. Finger a rhythm.
Turn out a light. Now everything’s a party!
Now everyone can sleep. I’m so glad you made it,
where I can call to hear you warm

over the phone, and press my tongue
against the screen, my hands against the mirror. My hands against
my hands. I wrote your name and pushed it through the crack.
Little piece of paper. Tiny script. Three times
to see you. But I never say it out loud.

Reyna N. A. is a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis. Her work has been featured on Kingdoms in the Wild and Bombus Press, and her self-published chapbook, Hand Made Ghosts, is available for purchase online.

PoetryAubrey Asleson