<i><b>Wicked Alice Poetry Journal
wicked alice| winter 2009

Heather Lynne Mercer




My cat needs company while he eats,

so I stand, skirted, shirtless,

towel turban around my head.

Coffee cup in hand, I wait.

It is snowing; cold seeps

through the floorboards.

I sip. New round mug.

Did the potter mean for it

to look like that Rothko painting?

A tail swishes across my toes,

the sound of each morsel,

crunched carefully, fills the air.  






The Boy at the Co-Op Explains Raw Honey


It means uncooked, he begins,

then I lose him after you see—

Really, I don't care about pasteurization;

I'm here for the local pollen,

the explanation I should be listening to,

those dark eyes behind thick glasses—

and it could last for 200 years. A pause

and I linger—200 years—and  there I am,

wrapped in furs in front of a fire, a scene

for which Beethoven sonatas were written.

The honey is just beginning to crystallize.

Put the bear in a bowl of water. Wait

for the impulse to inhale.






I Nibbled One Side of the Mushroom to Grow Taller, the Other to Shrink Back Down Again


He asked if the absence was palpable; could I feel it here, in my wristbone?  Once, I was smaller than my hands.  It took the strength of lions to move me.


I was never like this as a child, strung loosely like a necklace, green bead, blue, repeat—I liked to play those name games, the silly rhymes, palm on top of palm on top of palm.  There were no questions to answer.  I could read the smallest rows with one eye closed.


Once, I smashed a watermelon in the backyard.  I wanted to know how pink looked splashed against the pavement.  I wanted to tasted the sugar without spitting a seed. 


So if we move those pieces over here?—A tree is always a tree, but you will never be your same self.  I think he misunderstood the gesture—that light could never fill these holes.


I meant to say that this is existing, the half-grapefruit, plateless on the table.