The Mechanic's Wife
by Kathryn Gahl Kathryn Gahl

Kathryn Gahl married twice and gave birth twice, worked as a registered nurse, single-parented, and cooked up a storm. She started a PTA and a Soccer Club, watched countless sporting events while she wrote in her head. Eventually, after studying at Bread Loaf, Sewanee, Taos, and Vermont College, she began to write up a storm. Her stories and poems appear in many journals, including The Notre Dame Review, Salamander, Margie, Chautauqua, Wisconsin People & Ideas, and Permafrost. She believes the transcendent power in writing comes from dark chocolate, red lipstick, deep sleep, and the light of her littlest love, her grandson Leonidas. A performance poet, she lives in Wisconsin.

She is but exhaust in the room
as he grinds one bolt
threads another and
fills the grease-gun
with amber thick stick-to-it-iveness.
With each grunt he creates
friction. In the shop's shaky light,
he squints, stops only for a
soda and a cigarette, fires
an air-gun while her ears shriek.
He fills the house with stains that
preach since she has yet to come to
him willingly.
Soon the sun will beat
through the pane, pour crystals
on the calendar girls he keeps nearby.
She will bleach his fingers
with kisses and talk dirty,
swear she likes it
gritty and extreme.

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