Nikki Wallschlaeger
Pine Green House

The dishes suck. The woods do not suck but the dishes do. Doing dishes in the woods sucks.  Lights are on in the house. The dishes are done. The dishes still suck. The woods do not suck, ever.

The TV is on. The TV is on because the dishes suck. Do the dishes while the TV is on. The dishes still suck but not as much. The laugh track is fun. No one on TV ever does the dishes. They know the dishes suck.

But there is no TV in the woods. So the dishes suck as much. The firelight is on at camp. The dishes suck in the dark. The woods are dark and do not suck, but the dishes really suck in the dark.

Who does the dishes.  The dishes suck. I do the dishes. The dishes that suck when the light is on in the house. The woods do not suck because the woods have no dishes. During firelight or dark,

We avoid the dishes. The kids are gone. We make the dishes. We watch the dishes because the dishes suck. There is a room with TV where there are no dishes. We leave the light off but the dishes still suck

But the woods, as always, do not suck. We buy dishes so doing dishes in the woods will not suck. But you know what? The dishes we bought really suck. They are made of woods so we will do the dishes

Marigold House

I am typing another disembodied voice. I am looking for clothes with flowers on them. I found a nightgown spotted with marigolds, half-off at value village.

I am planting marigolds by the street. Squirrels & rabbits will tolerate them .Maybe if I smile the barrel will be pointed at someone else. It’s a hand-watered striptease.

I am a limb of firecracker kids are lighting off. I used to love sparklers. I used to live for a lot of simple things. I used to believe I could call you when I I needed you.  The porch ferns are wilting.

I am participating. I am listening to a woman talking to herself. She points to margins that academics support their careers on for the other side of town.  My new dress is comfortable on a hot day.

I am a nuisance because we have bills to pay. I am a warning signal if I brush my teeth the wrong way. The first time I went to the dentist I was 15 years old because of a drunken accident.

I am not interested in planting my own dinner. They spent a week tabling against the evils of electricity. I wonder if they enjoy sex. I have problems enjoying sex unless I am pintailed on something.

I am reading an essay by an educated woman on poetry. I crawl into my bed at 4 in the afternoon to watch a drama about affluent lesbians.  I switch it off when their world becomes smaller than mine.

I am still thinking about marigolds. They are printed on the dress & they might not be marigolds.I am reading about the topknot. I am reading the responses to the educated woman’s essay.

I am not a card player and I don’t play chess. They are good at playing chess. Marigolds are edible. I am typing another disembodied voice. I am trying another disembodied voice

I am aiming another disembodied voice. Marigolds, with the petals roped off.

About Nikki Wallschlaeger

Nikki Wallschlaeger’s work has been featured in DecomP, Esque, Word Riot, Spork, Great Lakes Review, Horse Less Review, Storyscape Journal, Deluge,(forthcoming) Coconut ,(forthcoming) & others. She is also the author of the chapbook THE FROGS AT NIGHT ( Shirt Pocket Press) and I WOULD BE THE HAPPIEST BIRD (forthcoming from Horseless Press).She lives in Milwaukee, WI and you can reach her at