Monday, April 16, 2012

Three by Jane Flett

Before First Coffee

Before first coffee,
and she's nattering.

Tussle-haired and chock full of places
we'll go, in the afternoon, but

I missed the dreamless slumber
of Odysseus in the cave, I tossed.

I was bitten by the alarm
you set to snooze, princess,

and there's no sullen drape to pull
between our tangled corpses.

I'll tape a grapefruit to hold your
loose lips prone. Bind your morning

wrists with Fruit Loops so you're wide-eyed
and waiting once my coffee has brewed, for

this universe is 90% dark matter and
I am not always sunshine
at the crack of the dawn.

The Smell of Chlorine on Her Skin

I wait in the gallery,
watch her stroke undulate
like a caterpillar’s

arching back, like a
greyhound pelting
for the lure of the hare.

Fold my hands in my coat,
blink at the gnash of chemical teeth
in the air indoors.

Here, the echo of a scream
is a metal pea whistle
sharpened to a spike

but under the water it
is blue, blue as an
air-strike summer sky,

and quiet. Even after her shower
I can smell it. A red plastic
box smell. Bleached.

Small, pedicured,
Japanese toes; a tidy
drawer of laminate envelopes.

Things unlicked and scrubbed
and new and tiled
and plastic—

I wait in the gallery
while she swims. I wait
while the children shriek. 


You are on me and we are atop the mountain, hitchhiking to
another summit, wet eyes to the monsoon.

We holler at fate to strike us lickety-flick,
make the camera flash explode, we holler

and we’ve been up here five nights this week,
feet bare, shirts wet,
coathangers pointing up.

We are waiting for the bang, we are still
scurrying, we are termites
hurtling through the ocean
in the wood of the hull.

Your palm smashes the emergency glass
and my ears swallow the alarm,
red imprint glowing on my cheek.

We quiver while the storm clouds gather, and
I open my mouth to scream.

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