Chloe Martinez


Chloe Martinez is a poet and a scholar of South Asian religions. She is the author of the collection Ten Thousand Selves (The Word Works) and the chapbook Corner Shrine (Backbone Press). Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Shenandoah, Beloit Poetry Journal and elsewhere. She works at Claremont McKenna College. Source


Fifty strangers are trying to reach me. They all want to know

about seven boxes of laminate that someone–not me–

is giving away on Craigslist. The flooring is somewhere


in Sacramento. They leave me their contact info.

The inquiries range from casual–“Heyyyy my name’s

Jose do you still have the boxes”–to formal: “Good evening,


I am interested in the flooring…” Some of them take

a pleading tone–“if you still have the flooring, I’ll come

and get it right now ???” One person says, “I need flooring


desperately!” A lady named Dee writes a warm message

signed, “Thank you very much.” Linda writes twice. Ed seems

pretty chill: “I can take those off your hands.” They are in


Fair Oaks, Folsom, Citrus Heights. They are ready

to come and get all seven boxes of laminate flooring

tomorrow morning, tonight, right now. They’ve been ready


since yesterday, and they don’t know why they haven’t yet

heard back from me. They are friendly, cordial, they have learned

my name from my voicemail greeting, so they say, “Hi Chloe!


Hi Carly! Hello Cleo! Hey Cole.” I can hear Cassandra’s

kids in the background. Everyone so full of hope.

Everyone thanking me in advance. On Craigslist Sacramento,


I find my listing. I ask the person who really is

offering all that flooring for free to please,

please correct the phone number, so that at least one


of these fifty-two people (so far), of whom I’ve become

quite fond, even protective, might be able to have

what they wish for: gleaming new floors. May we all


catch a little free beauty sometimes. May at least one

of our earnest, desperate, hopeful calls be rewarded

with bounty. With fights unearned and earned. With free


laminate flooring, enough to make one room, at least, like new. 





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Poems of the Everyday

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line