The Smallest Apartment

A house of crickets
singing through papery walls.
Refugees, single mothers.
We come to change our luck.
I spent a year attempting
our separation, proving something
and nothing. I gave in.
That one bedroom
I shared with my son so
his father and I did it
on the floor until
we conceived another.
I chose it—
place of towering sycamores.
Whatever caused sap to move,
changed winter bark from gray to ice-white,
I needed it.
House of thin sliding glass,
house of pollen and vine.
My courtyard luscious
from the seeds I buried.
I spoke to what made
my moonflowers bloom:
Hold steady against the sad
smoke of others, the complaints of cars—
it all creeps past the threshold’s gap.
Help me to change my insides,
direct my damp shoes,
you who guide the beetle
that crosses my floor.


Natalie Solmer has a BS in horticulture (with a minor in poetry!) from Clemson University, and has been working as a florist for twelve years. She earned her MFA in poetry from Butler University and is also an adjunct English instructor at Ivy Tech Community College. She lives a mile from the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway with her two young sons. She has been published in Dunes Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, Punchnel’s, The Louisville Review, Mothers Always Write, and forthcoming in Willow Springs.