I slept with two peaches rotted soft
at the root of my bed, ate
the cat hair collecting

at the bottom of our waterglasses.
That was the last good summer:
the way I became lonely

at midnight and waited,
mosquito-ridden, on a stone bench
seeping out summer warmth

and your voice on the radio.

I hoarded empty cans of tuna, watched
the shower in disarray
over my cynicism.

I took the dog out for protection.
I howled with her lonely nights.
I recorded a voicemail.

And my mattress with its peach
stains, its blood, its heavy
indentations from my days
of rise and sleep and rinse

that I kept. Still.


Alicja Zapalska is from Houston, by way of Poland. Her work has previously appeared in Pure Slush, Winter Tangerine Review, and The Postscript Journal.