Leslie Anne Mcilroy

Coming Home Wet

She asked him this:

What lake did you cross to get here
and why are your eyes so new like that?

Only the coaster beneath her drink was dry
and that awful reborn feeling puddled around her.

His reasons were wide with beaconed shores and seas of longing,
her responses, old and sodden as she took another sip, looking out across

the horizon of him. He asked her for her history in sand and she gave him a towel.
Dripping with a thirst for what was, what could be, he dried himself and the one tear she allowed him.

Dreaming of Men VII

I am dreaming of men again.
They say things like “I want
you back, even pregnant.”

And I think about transparency,
bad word choice, how my ex
backed out when I was expecting

and I never forgave him, how
10 years later I go back in
dreams: my boss brushing up

against me says he has my back,
he backs me and my skirts, mostly,
but I can tell he’s holding back.

And this feels nice, like a secret
weapon/code/sin, like I am back
in the game, until the HR woman

says I am back sliding and grabs
me. Then I kick her in her round
belly. I don’t think about the baby

till I wake from dreams of men,
back to back. Instead, I think how
much I hate that woman, how still

I dream men good.

Author Portrait

Leslie Anne Mcilroy won the 2001 Word Press Poetry Prize for her full-length collection Rare Space and the 1997 Slipstream Poetry Chapbook Prize for her chapbook Gravel. She also took first place in the 1997 Chicago Literary Awards Competition judged by Gerald Stern. Her second full-length book, Liquid Like This, was published by Word Press in 2008. Leslie’s poetry appears in numerous publications including Dogwood, The Mississippi Review, New Ohio Review, Nimrod International Journal of Prose & Poetry, Pearl and forthcoming in Jubilat. Leslie works as a copywriter in Pittsburgh, PA, where she lives with her daughter Silas.

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