Jan/Feb 2019 Poetry Special Feature


by Nicole Perez

Image salvaged from public domain


I squint while sipping my too-hot tea.
Somehow, bracing for the burn
means the inevitable will hurt less.
If my eyes close
just a little bit now,
I repent to the desolate wasteland
my tongue,
"But I tried."

So I squint.
For once the tea is just right.
My rusted body steeps and softens
back together again
legs off the ground
tucked underneath me.
numb below the ankles.
That's okay.

The half-finished scarf purrs in my lap
warm and weighted.
The aluminum needles chattering
the echo of my cold fingers.
Reach for tea, squint, sip, steep and soften.
A sensory pleasure process
like slicing through silk.

Knots I've allowed to form in my back unravel
thread by thread.
I wish that moment would linger.

All of it requires
just enough
I need to see what I'm doing.
          The impossible
can't pull the wool over my eyes.

The tail of my yarn whips
my vision into focus
pointing to a stitch now missed
          a triangle-shaped hole
                    a relic of my failure.
"Direct consequences," the yarn tells me.


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