“Tuesday, 7:43 p.m.”

Published by Loud Coffee Press, Volume 2 Issue 1, Winter 2021.


I want to lump you,
into a label maker–
tick out your faults and graces
in milky block letters on plasticine strips,
paste them up in each room of our 1950 fixer upper
until you define this

“hands like knotted oak” on the kitchen cabinet
“long underwear in April” on the hot tap handle
“Always gets mad when I sleep through the ending” on the corduroy couch cushion
next to the cabernet stain.

Our history traces the treads of my mud boots,
muck they’ve stomped through,
dead maple leaves,
dog shit.
They dry each new week beneath the swaying dog leash.

Our present sits in a cooling cup of coffee, whorls of vanilla creamer
drifting into
now a slinking centipede, now a Pegasus rearing back.

You remembered to take the chicken breast out of the freezer,
for this
for this and a thousand small reasons that
collude like cells to
construct a Redwood or winged
will I cook it for you in Aldi-brand Italian dressing
while Huey Lewis croons promises from the countertop speaker.

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