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KitchenYour mother wants to know
if you've had anything for breakfast
and the way she talks splits through you
like an axe in a melon, nervous
like she's talking to a man with blood
that stains his teeth. And the kettle sings,
too loud, that ugly old whee-oh-whee
that makes you feel like a poet or a
native, nervous wreck, a girl dragging
her toes and drawling
as she snaps a cat's
neck. She asks you again, more
impatient this time because you are
the kind of person that is hard
to put up with, the kind of person
that never begins to listen, and there is
a beating heart sewn into the back of
your head where your hair meets
like a cleaved moon in the middle.
The stitches hurt and the room is
frightening and sad as you pick
yourself free with your nails,
wishing the pulse would give out.
PromiseOne day darling,
I'll paint you a picture
of the house you'll grow old
in, with flowers that grow
from its ears, a bright warrior
brave arriving at the front
door beating her chest.
We'll pour the sad
away, fill the space with
baby-songs and pot roasts, thoughts
of old loves in Cuba,
sleepy hands that smoothe away
the cracks in Paradise. Angel,
let me paint in your life,
the hazel stretch between
today and tomorrow
and the colours will run together
madly, make you swallow your cries
Nine TimesI saw him nine times.
The first time we were both sitting in the room together, getting ready to take the math test that would determine our placement. I was scatterbrained and throwing things around, trying to find the pencils that I had known I would need but had still just tossed in my purse. He was lounging backwards in his chair, looking for all the world as though he didn’t have a single care in the world, including the upcoming test. It annoyed me, that I was frantic and ready to scream, while someone else could be that relaxed.
I tested out of the class.
I don’t know if he did.
The second time I saw him, it was a few months after I arrived on campus. He was the one rushing and frantic this time, running across the square. He was probably late for class, though I had no way of knowing for sure. I was already lost in my own thoughts and ideas, deciding on my major and convincing people that yes, this is what I really want to do with my life. If they weren
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