Feedback: Ars Poetica
I keep being told my images need meaning
& my speakers need to express desire. Meanwhile,
I am busy reminding myself that we are moving
forward in time. I have a floral dish set now
the color of under ripe acorns. Enough counter
space to open a bottle of wine. Breathe.
In Minneapolis, I cooked on hot plates & was
touched by strangers in chat rooms, would walk
to work in 10 degree weather because my coat
was warm enough & I had talk show hosts I liked.
In Baltimore, I learned how to cook cremini mushrooms
& how to talk down another drunk boyfriend. He cried
saying my mother would love you, standing
on my fire escape, the sun opening its hips to the horizon.
My life was a series of small domestic aspirations.
Growing up, my mother would write our birthdays
in lipstick on the mirror. Happy 7th birthday ____!
sultry scarlet, a tasteful gray-brown. I thought
all this time I was making the poem beautiful for you
& keeping my feelings out of it. But I see now, you don’t want
me to be beautiful, but tragic, tragic back when I lived
in Boston, back before everything, my hands in T’s Marilyn
wannabe acid bleach hair, disgusted with my truest shyness.
If I touched her, who would I be? Without the illusion
of safety to keep me from me? Reader, I built us a
fence. I cooked you a roast. Sit the fuck down & eat.
We have blackberry wine! Witch’s butter mushrooms. I’ll take
your coat. (it was mine all along.) Radio static to fill our
silences. The plates are chipped but they match the oak trees.
I’ll greet you & leave a smudge on your cheek. See? How I have
repurposed all the images of my loneliest days?
How I have almost made a home & taught myself
to want to stay.
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