His chipped tooth draws
blood from my bottom lip
after a kiss. We kiss more,
keep close the secrets of animals
we once were and want to be
again. We don’t notice
metal mingles with the taste of now,
but it lingers in our memory
like a dream blacklisted
from consciousness, like the promise
of a ring, or lavish hope for a little girl
growing in my belly.
Wishes are futile and stink
like tinfoil balled
and abandoned under the car seat.
When did we forget how to be human?
Was it the topless vodka haircut
or the record player reminding us
to tap into a world we made up
in the kitchen.
The sheets rip
a glass breaks
all that’s left are boxes,
long red hairs stuck to the walls,
and small paper wrappers.
I steal some drawings, a little money,
nothing you’d notice, and tell you
to keep anything I forget.
Bernadette McComish earned an MFA from Sarah Lawrence, and an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from Hunter. Her poems have appeared in The Cortland Review
, Sunday Salon
, Hospital Drive
, Rag Queen Periodical
, Poetry Leaves
, and she was a finalist for the New Millennium Writers 41st poetry prize. She teaches high school in Los Angeles, and performs with the Poetry Brothel, healing one John at a time with words and glitter.
more by Bernadette McComish:
An Old Story