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.