Natalie Mesnard


I teach your son to break
sticks. We light charcoal

for the grill. Step here
then pull up on the end.
Sharp snap

and you take him
to carousels in Montana, drink

beer in Prague alone. Fireflies die
on my windshield, and men

are everywhere: my old lover’s
hand on his new

lover’s shoulder; that singer
in the bar, who offers me

another beer. Drunk, I say
falling out of love is slipping

into water. Then you
bring your jet lag home

to sleep with us, and I hold it
in my arms. Your son cries

for his mother, won’t let go
of the toy, and summer

folds in half, dry as a bone
over all the corn.

Natalie Mesnard

lives and writes in Ossining, New York. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared online and in print in journals such as Gettysburg Review, Green Mountains Review, The Journal, Kenyon Review Online, and Tampa Review.