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 on it, then 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
the menu over and over, even though
we had no intention of ordering anything.
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,
braving the danger, reaching across to grab
one another, clasping tight, pulling us closer
as each of our throats released a cry
each trying to reach the other
begging, sobbing
save us

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