In Your Kitchen: A Poem


I never did write that poem about the two of us
making lemon cake in your kitchen—
the walls a robin-egg blue,
the ribbed bowl of yellow dough like a yolk
on the small wooden table.
I never did write that poem
about the crunch that took me aback
every time you thwarted another shell
against the counter, about how
it made me jump a little every time

I never did write that poem about your fir-needle eyelashes
(they made me feel alive, like a fireplace,
and when I grappled for the spoon,
they crushed together—a laugh
that didn’t dare to break the nourishing albumen
of silence)
or that poem about the way
you quilted me within you, right there in your kitchen,
sealed me like a letter
with a rosy forehead kiss.

It was like this––
so close that my every breath was filled with your air, so close
that the thrums of your heart riveted me
in the center of the world––
that I first noticed the cracks
in the robin-blue paint.

I never did write that poem
about how we used up all the eggs.

Sometimes, my bed is an empty foam carton.
I hold my chest tightly, but I can’t keep my yolk
from spilling out.

I’m writing this poem about how we crumbled
like an eggshell, like a coliseum, like my ribcage
every night for the next two months. Lemon-flavored breaths,
swaths of you, taste like poison to me.

My heart is shaped like your kitchen, but
there’s nothing left to crack.

Boolean: A Poem


 

circuit-board-4In glassy red flashes, you toss me
the “if” statement
of eye contact, smiling
in code. Binary lips peel back so I can’t know
if I’m a zero or
a one. The same way a frog
snaps its tongue
at a spider,

you snatch my wrist
(tenderly),
button-mash my copper veins,
frazzled wires gasping
to compute sense where none exists––here’s a long history

of keyboard assault.
Kiss me to clear the cache.

Say something softly and cookies
will become crumbs; crumbs,
brushed away. I’ll forget
every broken connection.

Fingerprint my screen
of a face. Pillage
both BACKSPACE and ESC.
Grab the mouse, control
the cursor. I want my every letter worn away
from overuse.

Run program.

We crunch numbers
like they’re finger bones in the car door
that night when you were angry…
(the parking lot light, littered
with flies, quivered, as
you slid into the driver’s seat

glad that’s settled

and I heard the ignition growling).

An error message forced itself
into my array of pixels.
I pressed IGNORE.