The kitchen table at thirteen slants
1: Being, Learned Manner, Opening
An arm, a hand and chopsticks.
The table at the window.
outside hungry people walk/talk rapidly.
2: Wire, Eyes, Trust
I think I need to change my prescription, I canít see
if there is MSG in the oyster sauce.
Garlic, oil, snap peas find a place.
3: Mouth, Sight, Black hole
My mouth is my third eye.
I know this. Iím over-sexed.
Everything goes in and in and in...
I drink the walls.
4: Travel, Private, Point
I have a dream to trek to
But, I wonít tell anyone.
I donít want to be pinned-down.
I smash the garlic clove side-bladed with a bang.
The table shakes. God, it was crafted in 1952.
5: Fleck, Irreplaceable, Wind
I think of that familiar fleck of pigment in her eye.
And, I consider the leaves of fall
unfurling in October tussles.
6: Solar, Heart, Ash
But it's still summer,
dry like cinders settling.
The sun is setting and the chilies pick up a solar dust.
7: Carbon, Write, Whet
Thereís that pencil.
I need to write a message about that fleck.
I want to let her know that I miss the fleck.
I should do it now; when did I sharpen this?
8: Feed, Summit, Shit
I need to eat... I canít remember shit.
Feeding hunger is hiking to a zenith,
nowhere else to go but down.
9: Storm, Placate, Hunger
Itís picking up outside.
Maybe a summer storm.
Iím comforted that Iím inside looking out
10: Mesa, Breath, Between
Iíll sit at this table and eat my good food and live in a flat zone somewhere
between continued existence and happiness.
The smell is mouthwatering, the garlic, the shrimp, the peas.
It takes life to smell things. It takes breath in between exhalations.
I do want to live.
11: Persistence, Remind, Treasure
Iíll remember this moment.
Iíll wrap it in wanton and put it in my pocket
with wedding rice and a crumpled receipt.
12: Perspiration, Stars, Key
A trillion stars sparkle about me
on my forehead, upper lip and lower back.
The key is the chili.
13: Crosshair, Food, Palm
Chopsticks and crossover cuisine.
Thereís three of me at this table
a target, a meal and a telling.
I should have poured you out of that
I should have examined every gist of you
now itís too late
Why the Hell didnít I?
I could have saved everyone a pocketful of therapy
Where did it come through?
fingers, eyes, lips, tooth, collarbone,
gesture, voice, breath, grinÖ such a sinÖ
Was it airborne?
must have been
Symptoms presented before the bodily fluids thing
What membrane failed me?
heart, mind, spirit, body
(Oh yeah, like Iím gonna consult the Goddess at a time like this!)
idiotÖ it was your brain, hello?
your brainÖ helloÖ h-e-l-l-o? It was your BRAIN!
Maybe I caught it smack dab: There
But, There is a moving target
There face, There dťcolletť encounters earlobe, the sweetest little flesh drop
There intelligence, There talent, There compassion, There surrender,
There raspy taunt/There childlike pause
Was it early on, the mails: eyes/finger tips?
I was rabid early onÖ ummmÖ
That was after the kiss at the gala benefitÖ maybeÖ
we were spiffed, the room dazzled yet, spinning
we faced each other four hands/twenty fingers loose woven
you said youíd stay longer but your feet were killing you
i understand, me tooÖ heelsÖ ďdonít you Enjoy Being A Girl?Ē
garlanded hall/picked-over bites crumbling
The full-lipped miracle: eyes closed unusually long for a biz kiss
I guess thatís when
god, I feel sick
Resurrected from a briny grave
Plucked from a jagged beach as a flat stone to skip three times
Further through the miasma underneath to settle
Stratified between eons eroding
time does seek truth
The Earth pulls tight her cloak
Stretching it, tearing the seam
And finds me a fossil deposited on an alluvial plain
Character carbon-dates the soul
space without form is yet a place
the space of my room six floors above the street
even if the building
different molecules in the air, but the same place
and if the room is removed?
the same space without the roomÖ
structure gone, open space:
After the fall I couldnít get out of bed
Let alone fly
I obsessed 24-7
The requirement to have a lover in my life seemed basic
Essentially air and water
A piece of peanut is stuck between my teeth
A tiny foil bag reads, Southwest
iíll have a ginger ale please,
and could I have a coffee after - as well?
i know Iím flying economy, but could I?
The blue above with warm sun
Curdled milk clouds
Below a sonic wing
My feet clammy cold
When Iím in heaven like this
I desire kisses
I want them as much as I want the dry heat of the
red, flat rock plateau to loosen my skeleton
(when Iím fused in a foggy traffic jam)
But, I donít need anyone anymore:
it is the discernment that neither flight nor destination
begin nor end a journey.
How I wish words would tumble out as fast as my falling
They could split from me as a parachute unwrapping
Bursting open to save me
Holding me aloft in the comfort of a dream
A sliding/A floating/A peaking
taking more air in than letting air out
A lofty orgasm
A slicing of the sheets
A rapid descent
Hands on the wheel
Nonprofit radio jazz snagging me before Iím a bug ruined on the windshield
I love Nevada
You can drive near a 100 for 20 minutes on the best-paved roads in the country
and not see a fucking personÖ not for fucking 20 minutes
You can smash a snake between tar and tire at 87 miles an hour,
the only serpent in the desert
But you canít find a fucking person for shit
I hate the idea of it but I love the isolation, the heat, the isolation, the
dust, the isolation, the horizon, the isolation, the big sky, the isolation, the
dirt road disappearing from the highway across barren terrain leading up to a
mysterious peak, the isolation, burning bushes, the isolation, the missile
parked like a statue at the entrance to the testing ground, the isolation
Iím on the loneliest road and itís the best party in years
Iím having the most wonderful time
The only thing is that
I wish I had changed
Of my party dress
My thighs are sticking to Naugahyde in
Utah Iíll change into my Annie Hall khakis
Brigham Young the bird
As I fly by
hold the phone...
I see light!
My chest burns tight with wedged breath
I see the bottom of a rocking boat
I hear waves through shadowy waters striking its wooden hull
Sounding the block tic-tock of an orchestra percussion
Iím bubble darting toward unsteady guttering sun
About to break surface
i step back from the mirror to focus on the full eye
i touch up mascara
See the pupil within.
Anne Marie Rooney recently earned her B.A. in Creative Writing. Her
poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in ,Parthenon West Review, Night
Train, Pebble Lake Review, Slipstream, Gargoyle, and elsewhere.