1973

There were feet that were naked and dirty all summer long

and Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 on the kitchen radio.

In the river there was arsenic and lead from the factory

and there were four girls with long shiny hair

who carried brand new patent leather purses every Easter.

Sometimes there was an uncle.

Sometimes my breath catches in my throat and won’t let go.

The only real danger in this world is sleeping

though it seems as if the humidifier is breathing along with us.     Can you feel it?

Summers were rainy and humid and coffee cups were slammed

against the kitchen counter until they broke into violent, angry pieces.

When I press my ear to the ground       I hear conversations I wish I hadn’t.

There was an uncle:

He put his tongue in my mouth and his hand under my shirt which read:

Sock it to me

Sock it to me

Sock it to me

Sock it to me

Sock it to me

Sock it to me

Sock it to me

because it was 1973

but I didn’t mean for it to be taken literally.

I fear, not the end, but the endless stream of beginnings.

There’s a spider living in our bedroom

who reaches his leg out from behind the dresser

every time I walk into the room.

(I’m not making this up.)

Laura Falsetti is a dentist who lives and works south of Seattle. She is also an emerging poet with work in Cider Press Review, Cirque, the anthology WA129: Poets of Washington, and other literary journals. Her interests include hiking, Washington red blends, and being the Mother of Cats.