Aubade II

Emily Standlee

My friend should be in Jersey but sends a text saying
he’s sitting on cheap patio furniture in Arizona instead,


watching a lightning storm cross the desert.
Can you draw inspiration from this? he asks,


and I picture us filling up an old pool, skimming
through scum and algae blooms, pouring in salt, chlorine,


the resulting tide a spell meant to transfigure exes.
Together we exile every red flag to Indianapolis,


St. Louis, Pueblo, Colorado. For all I care they can get fucked
take baths in those 456°F Yellowstone hot springs.


In this vision my friend wears vintage Hawaiian button-ups, the top two
buttons undone because


he is unbothered. In Missouri, skies purple, far-off static hangs thick.
I draw back the curtain.

About the Author

Emily Anne Standlee is a freelance writer living in Kansas City, Missouri. She is the recipient of a 2021 AWP Intro Journals Award and won the 2021 Great Midwest Writing Contest in Nonfiction. Her work appears in Passengers, HASH, Midwest Review, Sand Hills, and Tampa Review. Recently she received an MFA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.