The Scholar

the house is heavy with sour burning fish / when i leave / my clothes will smell / of seared salmon / sulking men on the train / will tidy their backs / twist their necks / in my direction / assume my thighs used bait / you know the thing we learn in grade school / about cheap girls’ bodies / how they carry the sea / i make the train smell like gowanus / trash river lady / all for you / you are back home writing a book / on the kitchen floor / told me this morning / you met someone else / she lives in europe / but you have more in common / like religion / your names / sound nice together / i ask for my things / you give me a garbage bag / i ask for my coat / you beg me to leave it / it smells like you / you say / the last time we made love / you asked me / if i was scared / i think you wanted me / to say yes / when we go to bed / all of the women scale the fire escape / perch on the rust / cackle and sing / you can tell how much he loves her / by how he sleeps / not at all / not at all / not at all
first appeared in the chapbook New American Best Friend (Button Press, 2017)

Olivia Gatwood is a nationally touring poet, performer and educator from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her work has been featured on HBO and Verses & Flow, as well as in Muzzle Magazine, Winter Tangerine, HelloFlo and The Huffington Post, among others. She has been a finalist at the National Poetry Slam, Women of the World Poetry Slam, and Brave New Voices and currently performs at schools across the country as an advocate for Title IX Compliant education. She is a graduate of Pratt Institute's Fiction Program.