Roberta Beary

 Threading Cobwebs on the Upper West Side

Seated Couple by Egon Schiele

I lift my arms and float over rooftops. Gerry Keating pulls me down into his camp tent. I know he’ll marry Carol from Catholic school and die before 50 from lung cancer. But I don’t care. Sparks from his Marlboro seep into me. He wants to do it right there and I let him. Our smoky afterglow drips sex. The doctor says look you can either put up with the hallucinations. Or take care of those cataracts. When the bandages come off my eyes climb the rooftops. Up down and sideways. Gerry Keating has folded up his tent. Gone back to his grave at Queens Calvary. The doctor says look it went as well as can be expected. At your age.

crushed spider
in my open palm
the future tense


About the writer:
Roberta Beary identifies as gender-expansive, and writes to connect with the disenfranchised, to let them know they are not alone. Her work has appeared in Rattle, KYSO Flash, 100 Word Story, Cultural Weekly, and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. Her short poem collection, The Unworn Necklace, received a finalist book award from Poetry Society of America. Her prose poem collection, Deflection, was named a National Poetry Month Best Pick by Washington Independent Review of Books. Currently based in Ireland, she is writing a series of short shorts for LGBTQ youth.

Image: Seated Couple by Egon Schiele (1890-1918). Pencil and tempera on paper. 20.4 x 16.1 inches. 1915. Public domain.