Under the Thick Light

Watery air, lensed through autumn,
looking for all the world
like bottled decay.

Your tallness slipped down my back and around the sides of my far ear, curling me round to your face, lit like oil squeezed from virgins and cherubs.

Life under a bent glass,
ozone’s microscope
pinked with desire,
rosy with winking,
like wincing under the glittery rays.

Our arms bumped, just small, just behind the brick walls. The party was not in this light, it was inside with our others under electricity and central air.

Bent under distraction,
gagged gaslight
glinting off the slight frost
settling in for a winter
we won’t fare together.

Erika Ostergaard teaches English to K-12 students in rural Moldova. Her poetry has been published in small papers and magazines in West Virginia, where she graduated from Shepherd University with an English Literature degree.