Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 16 • Winter 2005 • Poetry

Out of habit

Holly Demeter

because you couldn't get over her, not like the wind climbs over a hill, whips a white flag violently upward. take note of how you feel under her.

because you've memorized the sounds of your downstairs neighbors at 6am. the exact bend in your knees when you wash your hair. the width of her tongue at morning.

take note of how we cave in. there must be a juncture when we begin to cave out. when intention falls away and you have only habit to face.

what would the face of habit look like? like the place on the wall your eyes fall to? that yellowing spot by the night-stand, when she says you still taste like cigarettes.

because by definition your first love cannot be your last. because you've believed her when she's said this. because in the kitchen, unloading the dishwasher, you don't even know what's yours.

take note of how what's yours is still only bound by tendons. by the memory of her waist, joined with the crook of your elbow in sleep. how your jaw loosens with the grumble of the bart train, passing under the bay.

Holly Demeter lives in Oakland, California and works in Berkeley, where she spends too much time drinking chai and staring at a computer screen. She graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in psychology and a love-hate relationship with gender and adolescence. She thinks letter-writing is dangerously romantic. She would like to read the news and breathe more, and win the lottery.

Go To: Issue 16 or Lodestar Quarterly home page