By Leah Mueller


The poem is closed for the evening.

The poem has folded its wings and curled its long beak against its breast.

The poem sleeps like a car at the bottom of an ocean.

You do not see the poem until the sun has risen. You’ll need to turn the coffeepot

back on. The coil grew cold because you overslept, and the coffee will be bitter.

You lift your head from your pillow, while the poem perches on the far end of your bed, staring.

The poem demands to know why you have been ignoring it. The poem wanted to stay awake and caress your thighs until you moaned and climaxed, but you fell asleep instead.

You feel confused because you thought the poem wanted to sleep. This is why you went to bed and extinguished the light, instead of letting the poem have its way with you.

You ask the poem if it is too late. The poem nods. The poem no longer wants anything to do with you. You beg the poem to stick around, but it refuses. It’s your own goddamn fault.

You drink a cup of lukewarm coffee. The doorbell rings. You rise from the couch and answer it.  A different poem stands on the threshold, holding a small bouquet. It asks if it can come inside. You say sure.

The new poem isn’t as glamorous as last night’s poem, but it will have to do for now. Last night’s poem isn’t coming back. You wonder where it went. The new poem sits on the edge of your couch and smiles.

With enough light, the new poem could be beautiful. There is a softness around its cheekbones that comforts you. You could learn even learn to love the new poem. The morning has just begun, and both of you are wide awake.


Leah Mueller is an indie writer and spoken word performer from Tacoma, Washington. She is the author of two chapbooks and four books. Her latest book, a memoir entitled “Bastard of a Poet” was published by Alien Buddha Press in June 2018. Leah’s work appears in Blunderbuss, The Spectacle, Outlook Springs, Mojave River Review, Drunk Monkeys, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, Wolfpack Press, and other publications. She was a featured poet at the 2015 New York Poetry Festival, and a runner-up in the 2012 Wergle Flomp humor poetry contest.

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