Bare Necessities

by Lana Spendl

I walk into her office to give her papers
and she comes to mine to return them.

My walls are bare. Just a table, a chair.
Coffee pot in corner, next to a lamp
a coworker gave.

I block the embarrassed space with my body
and talk and talk. Her office was warm,
in reds, filled with things, and her home
with her partner must be the same.
Full of trinkets she lifts and examines
and places on shelves. She can walk out
the door and not wonder if they’ll stay.

And I think of the war in Bosnia
that made me lose home and friends,
and I think of that Bosnian writer I just read
who in the war feared losing his books.
All it would take is an attack in the night
to jolt you awake and you could only carry
two plastic bags of books as you run
down building stairs.

But which books to take?


Lana Spendl’s chapbook of flash fiction, We Cradled Each Other in the Air, was published by Blue Lyra Press in 2017. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cortland Review, Hobart, The Greensboro Review, Quarter After Eight, Lunch Ticket, Fiction Southeast, storySouth, Monkeybicycle, Watershed Review, Bayou Magazine, Gargoyle, and other magazines. She lives in Bloomington, Indiana, where she is working on her first novel.



Filed under Poetry

2 responses to “Bare Necessities

  1. Pingback: Poem in Hawaii Pacific Review – Lana Spendl

  2. It’s one thing to voluntarily pare down one’s possessions. It’s entirely another to be forced to do this in the thrall of horrors such as people (such as yourself?) have suffered in Bosnia, Syria and so many other war-torn places. I would like to understand the feelings you’ve experienced, but am not willing to throw myself into harm’s way in order to do this. I have that option. And I’m aware of it. I, too am a poet and writer. Art matters. I hope you continue writing and sharing your views and perceptions. And I hope to read your novel one day. I suspect it will be a good one. Aloha.

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