Twenty Minutes at the Clam Shack

By CASSIE PRUYN

Beneath a chalk-white winter sky,
her diamond studs gleam.
We sit parked in the Clam Shack lot, halfway
between her house and mine,
in her mother’s luxury SUV. Her alibi this time:
Christmas shopping for her mother on Newbury Street.
She wears a black, full-length wool coat
unbuttoned at the throat.
I slip my hand under her blouse, which quivers
with heartbeats, trace
the silken blade of her collarbone,
lean down to sniff her neck.
Gulls screeching, flapping, battling
for scraps across the Clam Shack’s pavement.
Traffic rushing beyond the chainlink.
As the dashboard clock clicks and dry heat
sighs from the vents, Lena
pushes a button and her seat reclines—she pulls
me toward her, whispering
Come here like she’d snatched up
a pocketknife and sliced
a sliver in the day just for me.

 

[Purchase Issue 13 here]

Cassie Pruyn is a New Orleans-based poet born and raised in Portland, Maine. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her poems can be found in AGNI Online, The Normal School, The Los Angeles Review, The Adroit Journal, Poet Lore, and others.

Sunna JuhnTwenty Minutes at the Clam Shack

Related Posts

the power

August 2017 Friday Reads

The book’s central conceit is that teenage girls wake up one day with electrical powers, which spread, and suddenly women everywhere are able to kill men with a single zap. It follows four main characters—Tunde, Margot, Roxy, and Allie. The characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways as the book charges on toward its dramatic, violent, emotionally resonant conclusion.

Knots book cover

Review: Knots

OLGA ZILBERBOURG
It felt foreordained to open this short story collection by the Norwegian writer Gunnhild Øyehaug and find IKEA on the first page, as in: “…park the car outside IKEA.” IKEA, now based in the Netherlands, originated in Sweden, but to many foreigners, it personifies Scandinavia—pleasant and unthreatening.

The Iron-On Labels

SUSAN HARLAN
We think of our memories as ours, as things that belong to us, but I wonder if they are, or if they stay in places, in the pond or the hayloft or by the lake, beyond ourselves, beyond our names and markings.