Friday, April 7, 2017


During our first date all our fingers were fluttering, hands screaming,
random Braille bumps covering our faces
All through dinner I kept my family trapped in my mouth,
talking with clenched teeth to keep them
from getting out. It made eating tricky. The entire night my date
nodded and smiled, her mouth sliding from one side of her face
to the other. Once a hand shot out and she bit down, licked her lips
like nothing had happened. Everything was shifting inside, threatening
to pull me down. We both tried to pretend the voices emanating
from within us were just little chuckles. We asked a passing waiter
to sew our hands inside the pockets of our pants.
Our voices slowed and overlapped and sank into the burbling muck,
inky shadows creeping across the page as we read.
Something slipped down my throat and there was a scream and a splash
and a bubble rose up from deep within and escaped through my gritted teeth
with a hiss. I was embarrassed but she just laughed
and tried to pat my hand 
but those stitches were pretty tight
Afterwards I walked her to her door and leaned in to kiss her goodnight
and all those hands of our trapped family suddenly pushed free of both
our mouths, unafraid of the teeth, reaching across to grab
one another, clasping tight, pulling us closer
as from both our throats one collective cry
each trying to reach the other, begging, sobbing
save us

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