by | Apr 5, 2022 | Issue Twenty Six, Poetry

The bedroom smells like furniture polish so

                    I must’ve tossed the rags in with the sheets again. Light

from the bedside table burns my fingertips. Memories bore into the flaws of my mattress.

                    Ink grieves across cocktail napkins, on a sales’ receipt, in the margin

of a city map. Air between scraps of paper wants to be truth. Words sound themselves

                    out as if they’re facts.       Silly air          words on scraps of paper aren’t

permanent. A hologram on my lampshade: a snake’s severed head can still bite/

                   the daddy longlegs in my shower doesn’t feel its missing leg. I’ll eat the

Thesaurus if it lies to me again.              Insomniacs on my street pipe skunk     

                    weed through my open window      as if I don’t worry enough about

the kismet of my lungs. Streetlights squeeze out color in a bottomless annum, turning

                   walls into Pop Tart pastels      like my hair, only painted with a toothbrush.

And            under it all, daffodil bulbs hibernate in a brown paper bag on the floor

                   of the closet      beneath N95 masks and a canister with my mother’s ashes        

no, remains       because how do we really know what’s inside?  In the broken night my       

                   neighbor shrieks under a honeycomb moon; she’s lost her house keys again.

Dogs barking at 3 a.m. make you feel like you’re going crazy. Cracking pistachios in bed       

                   has permanently split my thumbnail.      I so love the blue-striped Hanes left

behind by my last boyfriend        how they bloom recklessly large on my hips, chew on          

                  my thighs; still blood warm      stretched-out in the crotch. All those empty

bottles of hotel shampoo float in the tub where an invisible crowd bathes to extinguish        

                  germs we can’t see       no one comes to apologize     who can sleep?

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