No air in the cafe and my Coke melting quick and that guy staring hot from behind and to my right, reminding me of the campground with friends, the day hot and moonlight barely cooler, me full of Yukon Jack, walking alone back from the bathroom, not drunk enough for squatting in shrubs, hoping I’m following the right fire, heavy mist lying low on weeds and crickets and others, and a vague slow sense of being unsafe.
A poet cannot live on eggs alone, searching for inspiration in burnt bacon and coffee-stained tabletops, hoping someone might babble wisdom into their Denver omelet for her, hoping to catch a useful aphorism from the walking-through-the-dining-room bits of rumbled chatter. And along towards the time where she begins to hope the dishman who mutters Fleetwood Mac to the pancake and hashbrown scraps as he scrapes from platter to trash might indeed lead a secret life of vigilante crime, she decides it’s time to get out.
I miss you so much I almost drank my pancake batter Don’t laugh I miss you really and I’m tired so tired because you weren’t even there last night to tell me that’s enough and my bed was doing that spinning thing and now my head is stomping and lights burn my eyes you know how they get— all puffy-pink And I miss you I wasn’t going to tell you but—really When I woke up and still you were gone and my head my twirling bed I made breakfast because you always told me feed a hangover but while cooking I was crying and almost drank the batter instead of my coffee— black remember?
Kerry Trautman is poetry editor at Red Fez, and her work has appeared in various anthologies and journals including Midwestern Gothic, Gasconade Review, Paper & Ink, Rat’s Ass Review, Slippery Elm, and Mock Turtle Zine. Her poetry books are: Things That Come in Boxes (Kingcraft Press 2012,) To Have Hoped (Finishing Line Press 2015,) Artifacts (NightBallet Press 2017,) and To Be Nonchalantly Alive (Kelsay Books 2020.)
Show Kerry some love via PayPal at kbtu2(at)yahoo(dot)com.