Layla Lenhardt: “Little J.”

Little J.

I remember un-peeling you like a clementine
under a full moon at the Jersey shore. You were
topless in a beach house kitchen and it hurt
harder than all the skinned knees of my childhood.

We fed each other pocked strawberries, but I never
digested them, they were better stuck between
my teeth. My fingers were in your mouth, my mouth
was on your chest. We were silver and white,
a spider web on a queen sized bed.

Later, I was in a bathtub, watching my hair
float in curls around me like a noose. Your name was a spell
I cast to make myself remember that all the demons under my bed
were silenced when I was under you.


Layla Lenhardt is Editor in Chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has been most recently published in Poetry Quarterly, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, The Opiate, The Charleston Anvil, and Scars. Her forthcoming poetry book, These Ghosts are Mine, is due for publication this fall. She currently resides in Indianapolis.

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