The problem is

Poetry by Rachel Evelyn
Issue 35 • January 2016 • Charlottesville

the heater
harboring something spoiled in its muscle,

the ruined air, rising
in humid wafts, heisting the house. The problem is

the unanswered phone calls
to the landlord, the emails titled Mold,

the way the odor laces itself
in my tangled hair while I sleep,
seeping in the corners of my dreams.

The problem is how much it
learns, loitering as I talk to myself,
following me, caught in the wool of my sweater.

The problem

How the air wraps my form
in fantasy and spite. And finally,

when its traces disappear,
I wonder whether it is plotting
or besotted with another object

or dead. Three options. The problem

is they told me not to write
about you.

Born and raised in Virginia, Rachel Evelyn is a senior at the University of Virginia in the undergraduate Area Program in Poetry Writing.

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