Come, day, and take with you the last shantyboy,
stumbling past his still-made
camp bunk and into the woods.
Snuff the redundant lamps, oust the last sliver
of the moon from its glowing place.
Even now, I feel you, repainting the gray leaves
outside my window, measuring shadows,
yanking the timid sun from the horizon’s bedclothes.
But not me, not yet.
Grant me some furrow-eye rest before
your defamatory light exposes the barroom floor,
its brown vomit smears and liquor stains, broken glass.
Before the mop drags me along the planks, before
the enormous bucket of water hauls me to the sink.
Before we sisters stand elbow deep in dirty dishwater,
trying to scrub away one another’s sins.
Before the kitchen resounds with mirth
over last night’s spikefooted benefactors.
Most of all, day, make the hours longer, if you can. Kiss
the earth for a minute more. I won’t tell anyone.
Bring curfew on as a blush. Slow
the men’s pace as they watch the lights orange
in treetops. Make something else
the prettiest thing they see all evening.
And give to me my daylight,
however it must be filled,
for as long as my body can be mine.
—Lauren Annette Boulton is currently a Devine Fellow in Bowling Green State University’s MFA program. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Minnesota Review, Philadelphia Stories, Bayou Magazine, Gingerbread, Great Lakes Review, Kenning Journal, and Cardinal Sins.