“Goldilocks on Craigslist” by Meg Yardley

She hasn’t even put up a profile pic
but that doesn’t stop her from
slipping into strangers’ houses
to try out beds.

This queen bed from a non-smoking Napa home,
for instance, is solid wood, hand-planed
to create a distressed look.
Goldilocks runs her fingers along the abrasions.

Then there’s a sturdy pine frame in Fremont,
easy to assemble—no nails, no drills, no tools!
The memory foam mattress molds
to your shape, bows and buckles
to please.  It was too soft for the seller
and it’s too soft for Goldilocks.  Truth be told,
she doesn’t want to be pleased.

It turns out the bedframe in Berkeley’s been
slept in by children: it’s scarred with glitter
and sticker adhesive and the shadows of cracker crumbs.
The mattress is right for a body with bones, heels, fists.
Still, Goldilocks has all the sticker scars a girl needs.

Through a front door in Oakland, Goldilocks fixes on
a firm mattress with a suede cover. A golden oak frame
with rounded shoulders. Enough space to stretch out.
A skylight above. A scent of sandalwood.
Goldilocks lies down, tilts her head back,
and dreams. Guilty.

Meg Yardley lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in publications including Rogue Agent, SWWIM, Bodega Magazine, Literary Mama, and District Lit.

Image: “Pause” by Victoria Johnston

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