Pressed – by Sarah Clayville


I’ve scraped the last remnants of a crispy dinner
from the pan and crushed the crumbs like snow between my fingers.

I’ve blown out the candles, kneeling too closely
and letting the wax dangerously coat the tips of my eyelashes.

I’ve pressed my head against the empty dining table
in a prayer that this will be the last of our disastrous last suppers.

I’ve mouthed a promise to myself, like CPR exhaled,
that I will stop trying to resuscitate our broken and tangled sweetness.

I’ve flung the dishes against the wall and knelt among
the collage of broken shards to remind myself how much he hurts.

I’ve forced myself to hold steady against the front door
and draw the chain across the lock, in case I lose my nerve, to keep him out.





Sarah Clayville is a high school writing teacher and freelance editor. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been published in such journals as The Threepenny Review, StoryChord, Central PA Magazine, and Mothers Always Write. Find more of her writing at

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