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The Hazards of Kissing a Poet
By Beth Gordon
I thought of you with my first cup of coffee, stirring in Irish crème and watching the tiny funnel spin and slow, but not quite stop, letting it almost burn my tongue, one degree above hot enough, thought of you when I bought shampoo and chose a new fragrance, something with less pomegranate, more wet dirt, wondered if you would smell moonlight tucked behind my ears, you were there when I bought canvasses, new and empty, because I couldn’t write, thinking of your mouth got in the way of my words, of my
tongue’s ability to soak paper with saliva shaped like angels.
Instead I painted, thick sticky puddles of bruised purple and gray, tried to make them spontaneously swirl without the touch of my brush, tried to find the perfect blend of hues to mimic the spectral sound of vibrating strings, your fingers on the instrument’s spine, on my spine, your fingers wrapped in silver bands, searching for my heart, a metronome, a dripping faucet, tedious and un-altering, predictable as the family dog, my heart encased in melted sand, my heart without yellow, my heart click clack click clack click clack click clack, my heart
like a recent amputee, waiting for the memory of pain.