The motel carpet is mottled with bleach, yellow constellations
in deep indigo. Her legs stretched across the bed, thin as cypress needles,
cool under the fan, it's blades struggling in the room's heat, clicking
like the buckle of his jeans. His skin drips like the wax figures she saw
as a kid, with her mother, at a museum in Buena Vista. The foliage of Apollonian men—
red-white hyacinths that line the parking lot, the solid-bodies
of highway pines, the bills he pulls from his wallet—
green as laurel leaves, stripped from the branch.
She picks through the living room
with her miniature, pink shopping cart, prepares a dinner
of weightless, plastic produce and hollow rubber steaks.
Empties dry brownie batter into a silver tray,
her mother wiping down the counter as she stirs.
Her narrow hips swinging side to side
to shake the heat lamp's coiled filament.
Tonight she'll dig through her brother's toy box—
the bodies of half dressed pilots, hard jawed firemen,
needing to feel the muscles
in her own hands.
Ashley Maser is currently pursuing an English degree from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. She has previously interned with the Dos Passos Review and her poetry has been published in The Foundling Review, Word Riot, Midwest Literary Magazine, INCITE, Foliate Oak, and other fine places.