Chelsea Wagenaar

Magic 8-Ball,
by Chelsea Wagenaar

According to a recent study, the twenty-four
hours preceding a woman’s orgasm—or lack
of—are an emotional foreplay, like shaking
a sexual magic 8-ball. Hoping
for outlook good, or the ever-elusive,
ecstatic, yes – it is certain. But by 3:00
this afternoon your new blue satin heels
have made a blistered mess of your baby toe,
the coffee shop is out of those crumb cakes
you like so much, the coffee lukewarm.
Looks like your 4:00 is a no-show. And now
your mother calls, crying again because
your father’s engaged, she found out on Facebook,
never mind that he forgot your birthday
last week. That familiar aura surrounds
your head, presses in, ache, you reach
for the Tylenol. By some miracle
there are two glasses of malbec left
in the bottle when you get home, and when
your husband winks and lifts your shirt over
your head, you let him. He pauses to smile at you,
his hands roaming like you are the uncharted
America, his breath hot, earnest, everywhere,
sweetly oblivious of what he cannot
reverse. You know, but don’t want to tell him.
Don’t count on it. My sources say no.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 16, Issue 1.

Chelsea Wagenaar is a doctoral candidate in poetry at the University of North Texas. She has had poems accepted or published recently in Barrow Street, Salamander, and The Greensboro Review, and she is the 2012 winner of the Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize through Nimrod International Journal.

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