Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 5 • Spring 2003 • Poetry

Domestic Partners

Frances Kim-Russell

We let the dishes pile up for a week,
though we only have three plates,
thirteen spoons, seven forks, and
a dull bread knife between the two of us.
At least you're meticulous about the trash.
I dent the couch and stare at the tv
as you slide snake-like over the armrest.
On our second date, you wore a knit cap,
cropped hair gelled into soft spikes.
I wore black knee-length boots
and a mini-skirt, got my car towed
from the mortuary lot, but
stalked you anyway from
the impound on Potrero and 16th,
upstairs to your haunted flat on Guerrero.
Now we share a one-bedroom
in the suburbs, discuss mortgages and donors.
You grow your hair out; I tell my parents.
I admit: I have written a poem
for each one that came before you,
prided myself on being the first to leave.
At our kitchen table, I tuck
them all into a manila folder
in perfect chronological order,
file them behind our electric bills
and product warranties.
Against the lamplight,
I notice again and again
the arc of your cheekbone,
the smallness of your hands,
the scallop curve in the small of
your back where my life
rests up against yours.

Frances Kim-Russell is a Master's student in East Asian Studies at Stanford University, though lately she has been working more on her poetry than on her thesis. Her work has appeared in The Red Wheelbarrow, and she also has work forthcoming in ONTHEBUS, and in the anthology Invasian: Asian Sisters Represent.

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