Jan Edwards Hemming

She stood a foot from me
two futures hung in the air between
us      I had a strong urge to feel her
tongue in my mouth     suck her pink
hard candy      What I mean is I wondered how 
to have sex with a girl
swallowed     told her I’d see her
later for dinner         watched her leave the room
I pictured us lying naked together       how far apart 
our breasts would be and how they’d feel

We slept together 
without touch   we stayed
apart    like the limbs
of trees           it was the end 
of what I
thought love was       in dreams we were 
joined   one      filing taxes together

I wrote about kitchens in poems 
made mental lists
for groceries    I made new dishes
invited you to dinner
for pulled pork  pie and gumbo and something
nice for dessert         something lemon

is it warm in here you asked    cracked a window
I flipped the page of a book and pretended
I hadn’t heard           hadn’t been hoping 
you’d take off your sweater 

I tried I really did

but when it rained I could only
think of the South       of her
red hair          and a storm

I kept letters in a box
collecting dust           how long 
does a love last          how long 
to mend the holes

Author Bio: 

Jan Edwards Hemming hails from Louisiana and lives in L.A. with her wife and two cats. She holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from New York University and a B.A. in English from Louisiana State University. Her poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Internet TendencyLos Angeles Review of Books BlogScalawagThe MackinacThe Rio Grande ReviewThe Raven ChroniclesThe Weirdlings, and The Exquisite Corpse. Jan teaches creative writing to children and teens.