Underpinnings in the Center Space: Poems of Inactivity and Agitations, 16 pages, 2018
The crash of water against rocks is like the cracking of an egg with a particularly thick shell is like watching a tree in your backyard being cut down is like hacking at the overgrown hair on your calves with a disposable razor is like paradise pooling up past your waist and creeping to your nipples and engulfing your neck is like diving deep to touch the dredges at the bottom of the Mississippi River is like going to county fair and purchasing leather boots is like lifting up floorboards with crowbars is like running 8 miles without stopping is like slicing your index finger on a wine glass is like biting your tongue during a sneeze is a deep divot on the surface of a frozen lake is like your yearning strangling you is like is like the sparks of a fire sprinkling onto your jeans is like shoving a knife into a firm cushion of a couch is like a tiny harpist plucking her instrument in the left ventricle of you heart is like the sharp inward anticipation of a red curtain parting to reveal a stage
THE BEADED BACK OF AN ALLIGATOR
Hump hump hump goes the hand of a man pounding pink chicken into cutlets for customers In a polish deli on the northside of chicago you fall in love for the first time over the big bowls white and grey and yellow mushy foods and The low-hanging cylindrical salami reminds you of the brown, fuzzy tops of pussywillows floating in Water becomes so important to you once you fall in love with someone from Florida who loves you as much as they love vibrant green plants and clear seawater seawater seawater down your throat and out your nose while you are laughing with your little brother and knocking heads with jellyfish down deep Near the muddy sand is the first time you feel your legs quake like a new candle being lit and dripping slow and then Quicker says your mother when you help her bake a pie crust, your dough is too dry she says, and you look down at the hundreds of tiny beaded clumps of sugar and flour in your bowl compared to the smooth mound in hers
You write a story in one of your first black and white composition notebooks about an alligator slip sliding in Lake Michigan, where alligators are not native but this alligator lives there in between the sailboats and it’s the only alligator there and you draw a picture and spend upwards of an hour individually drawing the individual raised bumps on its’ skin with a slender navy pencil that you sharpen every few minutes.
One evening, late in your twenties you stare at your butt in your cheap plastic-framed mirror and think of the alligator drawing. Even this early you feel your skin losing form. Age is so boring to think about, as you think, as you hump hump hump your partners crotch and look how the loose puckered skin of your thighs seems to be crawling faster and faster over your hips.