to jacques pépin :: shanna compton

Touch me
with your impeccably clean hands.
Go ahead: Say beutter, instead of butter.
I can take it.

I love your rhapsodies of oil.
You are hypnotic as you pat
a chicken’s rump with your right hand, swirl
your ruby glass in the left.

For a Frenchman,
you are remarkably open
to wines vinted by Californians.
Don’t misunderstand.

I never intended any innuendo,
but I dream of being food in your kitchen.
Every night I become a perfect tomato,
a parcel of pastry, crimped and tender.

Give me away in a frock of parchment paper. Fold
me in. Slick me a little clarified gold.

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still start :: kay ryan

As if engine
parts could be
wrenched out
at random and
the car would
still start and
sound even,
hearts can go
with chambers
broken open.

this morning i could do a thousand things :: robert hedin

I could fix the leaky pipe
   Under the sink, or wander over
   And bother Jerry who’s lost
   In the bog of his crankcase.
   I could drive the half-mile down
   To the local mall and browse
   Through the bright stables
   Of mowers, or maybe catch
   The power-walkers puffing away
   On their last laps. I could clean
   The garage, weed the garden,
   Or get out the shears and
   Prune the rose bushes back.
   Yes, a thousand things
   This beautiful April morning.
   But I’ve decided to just lie
   Here in this old hammock,
   Rocking like a lazy metronome,
   And wait for the day lilies
   To open. The sun is barely
   Over the trees, and already
   The sprinklers are out,
   Raining their immaculate
   Bands of light over the lawns.

poem :: cynthia arrieu-king

A pink dozen sunshine trapezoids—
It’s good to be breathing
says an array of rosemary shrubs.
A field of illicit rocks, shrapnel, bees, germs unknown.
Hands held. Back seats checked for sleeping.

I have made a Tuesday monument
of a baby’s toothbrush lying on the sidewalk alone.

The far lake no one knows about, bitching its ripples.

In this case it
doesn’t matter what other people need
in measures of solitude; You
need a few years, a few more years
alone. And it’s such a popular
slur to hurl: You will always be alone.
I’ve been told that—
(Eight years ago.)

(And knowing slowly as I go how to hold a garden here.)

this deepening takes places again :: emily kendal frey

What if everything
were revealed: where I was
last night. You, etc. The rain
is coming down like salad.
My sister’s hair
reminds me of my sister
so much I can’t
stop looking. Who am I
to have arms? On the plane
one short dream:
a baby so small
it wasn’t even human,
just a bouquet
of light with wise
cellular eyes. If losing me
is the worst thing to happen,
your life is still a good life.