Oct/Nov 2016 Poetry


by Martina Mihelicova

Image courtesy of the British Library Online Photo Collection


I want to let you in like children into a playground with monkey bars and see-saws;
scattered-teeth smiles blow bubbles escaping in flashes—the see-to-saw metamorphosis of our pasts

in neat sandwiches of bed, limb, and blanket in the morning, when our
kisses were cares we could ask for, and we did, trying on
various gender-neutral names: "It's time for bed, Ren" or
"It's up time, Sid," and re-painting our study a sunflower yellow.

The nails and eyelashes never belonged to a name and no name owned the study, its yellow now grayed
with months of bamboo lids drooping over glass corneas without retinas to see dust-blown boxes with
expired return policies, compartmentalizing make-believe memories of first crawls in an activity playpen and
animal sounds hatched to words later secreted to notebook margins where fairy tales might end.

In this mourning, the shy lamplight dawn avoids us the way a child might in a corner of their own seventh
birthday party, wearing party hats over their eyes as favors to their introvert, and you're here as a favor
on my carousel bed where we cling on a single horse-about, no handles, no operator to pause the
galloping, where I find in pieces of you the parent I thought you'd be: hips that carry, fingers guide a small
grasp, lips give approving kisses. Not these words: "I'll be back" because you won't—not the way I want
you. Miss the parent in you.

Daylight is knocking on my window shutters.
Come back to bed. I don't want to open yet.


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