Jenifer Takes Off Her Bra
by Paul Smith

  1. First she takes off her sweater
  2. She is looking me straight in the eye
  3. From where she sits in front of the window
  4. Overlooking the Square
  5. There are some flimsy curtains I hung up
  6. To keep anybody from looking in
  7. Her arms cross, making an X
  8. Fastens her fingers to the bottom of the sweater
  9. And she pulls up
  10. Revealing her maiden formed beauty
  11. Her smile is fixed either on me
  12. Or a point behind me, way in the distance
  13. Either is fine
  14. It’s late afternoon
  15. A breeze pushes the curtains behind her
  16. She gets up from the hardback chair
  17. She reaches behind her
  18. Her arms, hid, make another X
  19. Unfasten those little clips she has back there
  20. And they come loose
  21. The bra relaxes
  22. The left strap falls off her shoulder as she
  23. Tilts to that side
  24. Then the right
  25. Now she is right in front of me
  26. Her hands cupping her covered breasts
  27. Still holding my gaze
  28. She knows what it is to be hungry
  29. And then her hands drop with the bra in them
  30. Street sounds fill the apartment
  31. From where I left the window open
  32. This is all that’s left to hope for
  33. I reach for my wallet in back
  34. My left arm making half an X
  35. Retrieving it from my hip pocket
  36. Find Ben Franklin with that same sly smile he always has
  37. And behind him take out Andrew Jackson with that puzzled look
  38. Because this transaction is not as robust as it once was
  39. And hand it to her
  40. Taking it, her smile evolves into something
  41. Like the smirk on Andrew’s face
  42. Not disdain, closer to resignation
  43. But with a modicum of gratitude
  44. As she puts on her clothes and walks out
  45. The car sounds from Logan Square
  46. Make the afternoon feel like there is life in it still
  47. Touching the chair she sat in I notice
  48. It’s still warm from her peculiar female thermodynamics
  49. So I sit down, my libido piggybacking a ride
  50. On the incandescence where her ass was
  51. With that heat and that from the window….
  52. The late afternoon is not that bad
  53. Even Old Hickory might be smiling
Packingtown Review – Vol.5, Fall 2013

Paul Smith has written poetry for about 8 years, like poets John Dickson, Seamus Heaney, Rudyard Kipling, Dorothy Parker. He infrequently goes to poetry open mics in Chicago and is constantly amazed at the variety of emotions expressed by fellow poets in the City of Chicago. For inspiration he rides buses and Els in Chicago and enjoys the landscape of the city and its people.

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