Aisyday is a collector of things.
Hats and canes. Handbags. Scars.

I can’t be sure. I am certain.

She saw me as hard tissue. A door
left ajar. What I said. Honest.
Insecure and reaching.
A ringing nerve along her jawline.

Me. Jarring and disobedient. Always.
Her jealous, boasting a size nine shoe.
Because it’s more than eight.
It’s invisible ink.
A missing decoder pen. Pig Latin.

Us. Going like loose seeds. Different
and all the same. Nine years sloughing.
Becoming dust on a fan blade. Too high
to see. I do. I see her.

In Sprouts standing by organic lemons.
Making a same sour face. Her toddler
handling them all.
I’m hiding, eight months pregnant
in essential oils. Inhaling ylang ylang.
Glancing.
On accident. Grab antiseptic,
tea tree and reel. Remembering:

Her inherited narcissistic traits. My instinct
to make a break. Pass a note that is scissors.
Mostly, a plea for empathy or a lingering
question. Never.

Daisy is a collector of succulents.
Headbands. Toms. Melissa and Doug toys.

I can’t be certain.

Selected byJordan Trethewey
Image credit:Wonderlane

Kaci Skiles Laws is a closet cat-lady and creative writer living in Dallas—Fort Worth. She is an editor at Open Arts Forum, and her writing has been featured in The Letters Page, Bewildering Stories, The American Journal of Poetry, Pif Magazine, The Blue Nib, Necro Magazine, Cajun Mutt Press, Terror House Magazine, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Ten Million Flies, among others. She won an award for her poem, This is How it Ends, by North Central Texas College's English Department and is currently working on a children's book called The Boogerman. Her published work and blog can be viewed at https://kaciskileslawswriter.wordpress.com/, and her visual artwork and music can be viewed on YouTube under Kaci and Bryant.