Poetry by Leah Browning, Photo by Jeremy Streeter

The Undiscovered Talent Brushes Her Teeth

Ten years from now, a hotel maid

will pick through her trash for the tissue

where she blotted her lipstick. 


A matted bit of hair pulled

from her brush, a pair of pantyhose

with a run down one side. 


Everyday objects given meaning

simply because she touched them.


She will no longer be able to speak

without thinking—

every word that she says


and every gesture she makes 

will be dissected and evaluated

for its larger significance.


Now she clips her nails and brushes

the cuttings into the trash.  She discards

a tube of lipstick, old but only half-used.


Her bathrobe is tied loosely

at the waist, one breast exposed. 

On the mirror, a heart traced in steam.    


She leans forward and spits blue foam

into the sink.  If she were already famous,

even this spit would mean something.

Back   •   Home   •   Forward