I’m Using You [essay] by Judith Sara Gelt

So bump into me. Cram onto Denver’s Light Rail press your down-stuffed torso against my faux-fur chest and ease that blue-jeaned thigh into my hip. Squash my suede-covered pointy toes with rugged Merrill climbers so calluses on the balls of my feet moan (again) about wearing heels to teach college seniors how we think. Jostle my fingers when we simultaneously reach the cocoa cinnamon or nutmeg tin to tip and jiggle over lathered-up lattes. When spring shows up squish behind in line for tickets to that controversial war film and caress my elbow with your long loose hair. Laugh warm breaths on my neck because your date says something you deem funny. Nudge my mocking Stereotypes Save Time T-shirted back then tap my shoulder blade when I don’t move and the line does. Scrape past my butt as I bend to scrutinize Ross’s 34C rack teeming with bras that aren’t. Cradle my bare heel in your palm and guide my Cha-Ching-Cherry toes into summer’s sexy red strappy sandal I’ll never buy. Tickle my ankle with your fingertips while fastening the baby buckle. Clutch my damp hand when I extend it at the semester’s first department meeting that new writing workshop and Stephanie’s fiftieth (I recognize one other person). Since pending my meeting someone who desires more than anything touching my body (and essence) with shameless intent eight years after divorce number three I score chance collisions instead. So go ahead. Brush by.


Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

[This essay refers to Allie Marini Batts’ essay, “My Life as a Cactus.”]

 A Denver-based writer, Judith Sara Gelt has excerpts from her memoir published in Iron Horse Literary Review and The Portland Review and an essay in Broad Street Magazine. Her honors include a second place from Ruminate Literary Magazine, a New Millennium Writings’ honorable mention, and a semifinalist for the X.J. Kennedy Award, Rosebud Magazine. A story she wrote about her mother was published in The Denver Post. Gelt has studied at Tin House, Aspen, Gettysburg, and Taos writers’ conferences.

Image by Scott