Untitled 28 by John Muellner

After Cindy Sherman


Barefoot outside 508, Cindy

has locked herself out of her own place,

and for what? To retrieve the mail:

took the elevator with all of its rattle

and mildew notes down to the lobby

late at night just to find there were no letters,

again. She could have stayed under the sheets,

or in the Saarinen tulip sipping her sidecar,

but instead paces the hall. The television set

still burbles to itself inside, a kind of nonsense

that might ring true if someone came

close enough. The reticent hallway is unnerving

in comparison. No envelopes in hand, she grips

her nightdress, anemic armor, tight

in near fist. She doesn’t want to be seen

so bare, empty handed, and yet, she must

if she wants to finish that warming brandy

and join the suffocating voices in her apartment.

Had she needed the mail so badly? It is only

when she stands outside of it, after she

has left and come back, that home looks

like a dark unfed casket.

John Muellner is an LGBT writer who holds an MA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing & Publishing from the University of St. Thomas. His work can be read in Gertrude Press, Denver Quarterly, New Delta Review, Court Green, and elsewhere. He lives in Minnesota.