Poem – On Mixing Macarons and Vicodin (By Layla Lenhardt)

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On Mixing Macarons and Vicodin

That winter split me

like firewood. I was smaller,

splintered, Elliot Smith would play

on cassette in my blue Volkswagen,

while our breath coursed

through flared nostrils and damaged lungs.


I hid my pain like a sick dog. I slinked

out, under the back deck,

I swallowed some pills.

In those hideous places

I can still smell the acrid, peaty heat

of your breath, reeking like remorse.


But even though you swore that you left

I still caught you shoplifting.

Every broken piece of me

you stuffed greedily

into your pockets.


The more you took, the more

I couldn’t help but remember you

feeding our cats, their tails licking

around your ankles like muted flames.

And now I’m jealous of people

I don’t know. I want to be that stranger

sitting across from you on the subway.

I want to claim the dust you leave behind.


Author Bio: Layla Lenhardt

Layla Lenhardt is Editor in Chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has been most recently published in Poetry Quarterly, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Opiate, The Charleston Anvil, and Scars. Her forthcoming Poetry Book, These Ghosts are Mine is due for publication this fall. She currently resides in Indianapolis.