(not) thinking of you at 3 a.m. ~ poetry by Cinthia Ritchie


The house was yellow.
There was no wind.
All night the porch howled.

(Wind howled my yellow house inside your porch)

We fucked against the wall.
The sofa sat on the dog.
Your lies coated my teeth.

(We fucked the sofa and the dog sat on lies)

Afterwards, we ate spaghetti with our fingers.
Tomatoes slurped my eyes.
You smiled with your elbow.

(Tomatoes slurped elbows while fingers smiled spaghetti eyes)

The twilight spilled ashen daylight.
I could see veins in your bones.
Your mouth crunched.

(Veins crunched twilight and your mouth spilled bones)

I woke before dawn.
We slept with our toes open.
I found your tongue in the bathroom.

(Your tongue woke with open toes and found my bathroom)

Morning smells bad breath.
I drank your fingernails.
My back speaks best in sunlight.

(Morning smells drank your bad)

After you left, I hid in the refrigerator.
The dog ate the table.
The mountains stared empty.

(The refrigerator ate the dog and I hid. The empty)


Cinthia Ritchie is an Alaska writer, ultra-runner and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Find her work at New York Times Magazine, Evening Street Review, Sport Literate, Rattle, Best American Sports Writing, Mary, Into the Void, Clementine Unbound, Deaf Poets Society, The Hunger, Forgotten Women anthology, Nasty Women anthology, Gyroscope Review, Bosque Literary Journal and others. Her first novel, Dolls Behaving Badly, was published by Hachette Book Group.

Show Cinthia some love via PayPal at cinthiaritchie(at)aol(dot)com.