I. SO I HAD A MOUSE PROBLEM, RIGHT?1
And I thought it was over, except for the part where I knew better than to trust good things can last. That’s why I called you at two-something in the morning when I heard it again, the scratching and the scurrying. I was outside in the throes of panic’s embrace, my mouth loaded with ultimatums when I told you I needed to leave the shrouded threat. Your house —? No, no, you’re at your mom’s, I forgot. Maybe a hotel. Maybe another state altogether.
It’s okay, you say. The often-present humor I know you for gives way to tenderness. I’ll come get you — we can figure it out.
Okay, I say. I’ll try to trust one good thing.
II. I KNOW YOU DON’T WANNA FUCK WITH FURRY GUESTS
But who cares about what danger hides in the insulation of my walls when you’ve got me by my curls? You don’t. I don’t, either. Not when you take my bottom lip between your teeth and tug, tug, tug me to my bed and fit me between your hands. Not when I am breathless in your ear, turned on my back, head on the edge —
I should have thanked you then, when we fucked into release. For the rest of the night, I never heard scratching of the nails-on-cabinet kind — only the dig of my blunted nails into your skin, and the way you told me to look you in the eyes.
III. OKAY, I THINK DO THINK MY MICE ARE GONE THIS TIME, BUT
I still had to stay up until one-something just to see you.
I mean, no, I didn’t have to do anything — you told me I could sleep for the sake of my 9-to-5 — but I wouldn’t have it. I waited for the moment I got to open the door and greet you in my baby pink bralette and panties. All you could muster in response was a quick look-down at what greeted you, moving yourself into my shoebox of a home.
I said you’re late. You said I know, I’m sorry.
I let you in anyway — in the front door, and into me.
IV. FINALLY, I GOT RID OF THOSE DAMN THINGS
But I am still a heart-attack-on-legs after you go back home. If I’m not waiting for the silence of my shoebox to be punctured again by sharp claws and squared teeth, then I am thinking about what will happen when I return my body to the earth. I don’t want to fear the inevitable, but since my fleabags got shut out, I’ve been searching for something new to dread.
This is where you come in.
I call you more. I’m finding I like you most when you, half-asleep and murmuring on the line, are brimming with affection. It makes me remember you again; your hips to mine, your hands lifting my thighs — heaven bound.
Jasmine Sierra is a poet based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she is surrounded by her collection of too-many-books-and-clothes. She is currently an MFA student at Spalding University, where she is working as a student editor for The Louisville Review and completing her first collection of poems with the title pending. She has been published in Santa Fe Literary Review, Peach Velvet Magazine, Winter Tangerine, and Platypus Press.