The Orange Room Review

Accessible poetry of substance


by Karrie Waarala

It's the whole landmine quality of it, really. There you are,
shuffling through the geologic layers of drawer clutter,
sifting for a stamp, or a D battery, or that overdue water bill,
and your unwitting fingers close around your wedding photos.

And at first they steal your oxygen like a forest fire, you damn near
hunch against hearing his step behind you but then remember
no, it's been two years since you and your lawyer toasted
brittle freedom with martinis and the sidewalk cafe sun made you dizzy.

So you scan the pictures for some sort of clue, some foreshadowing
of the crumple and fear of the looming months, look for the monster
in his face and French cuffs, the twitch of mental illness in the corner
of his father's sour mouth. Some hint that you were going to have to

run. But of course there is nothing of the sort in these glossy
detonations, nothing but future and faith, your ridiculous flashbulb
bursts of happiness, your thumbed nose at skewed odds, your stained
glass smile, not a sign of the impending shatter in sight.

KARRIE L. WAARALA is currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing from University of Southern Maine. Her work has appeared in two national poetry slam anthologies, a number of regional collections, a couple of literary journals, and on a coffee shop floor in Arizona.