is no one really, I can’t be seen, my fingers are clandestine, I am thin
cellophane in the crotch of a pair of scissor blades that effortlessly slide
cutting my heart smoothly in two. I am secluded in the ether
floating alone through the atmosphere, love’s underling.
My needs are always secondary, the warmth of amor momentary.
Yes, I am a ghost both there and not there.
Call me lacuna, gap, invisible space, call me love’s hobo, drifter, homeless,
unnameable gift to the married one who might even love me.
The other woman, half human, expendable and cherished; half human, pure
joy. I can’t be a bitch, can’t complain like the wife can because the other woman
isn’t necessary, is pleasure, which is always capricious, a small addendum in all lives.
When I wake my lover is asleep in another woman’s bed, in a homey-home not mine,
his. When I wake dreaming doesn’t end but just goes on and on
for there is no one to touch my hands, my back, my shoulders, my
arms. Am I real? Do I feel? Should we feel sorry for the other woman
who wants what isn’t hers? Quiet criminal, thief?
She’ll get what she deserves.

About the Author
Laurie Reiche is the author of The Dance of the Carbon-Atom (Mellen Poetry Press, 1996) and won first place in several contests, including the Riverrun Literary Publication of the University of Colorado Poetry Competition, the national Charlotte Newberger Poetry Prize sponsored by Lilith, and the Mendocino Coast Writers Conference Contest. She is also a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. Her work has won the Editors’ Choice Award for the best poetry in Inscape 2019 and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Laurie’s work has been featured or is forthcoming in Phoebe: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Feminist Scholarship, After Happy Hour Review, The Borfski Press, Bryant Literary Review, The Dalhousie Review, Descant, Door Is A Jar, Euphony Journal, Folio Literary Journal, Inscape Magazine, Magnolia Review, The Plains Poetry Review, Pegasus Literary Magazine, MORIA Literary Magazine, Princeton Arts Review, Rosebud Magazine, Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine, Sundog Lit, Slant, Sonoma Mandala, Valley Women’s Voices, Swamp Ape Review, Poetry: San Francisco, Sanskrit Literary-Arts Magazine, Grasslands Review, Plainsongs, and Southern Poetry Review, among others.