Jack, today I played fast-and-loose with a bottle
of Prosecco and a coconut cake, and now,
an hour later, I’ve got my knees tucked to my chest
because it feels like someone’s mistaken my head
for an oyster and is shucking away, like
someone’s trying to pry open my jaw to find a pearl
lodged in my trachea.
And my golden retriever is sunning herself on the back
porch, and she looks regal like a lion, but I won’t
say that because I will not be a nature poet,
even though the dog looks regal, looks goddamn
golden, and deserves all my attention and
a collection of sonnets.
But, Jack, all I can think of is a conversation we had
three years ago when you caught me reading Flannery O ’Connor
and asked if it was “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” or
“Good Country People,” and I said I didn’t know
because I wasn’t sure which one I was supposed to be reading.
And you played with my ponytail to get a rise out of me, to make me
laugh, but I just looked down and stayed still to be polite, and
that ended that.
I think my head is full of bubbles, expanding and popping
every time I blink, but all I want in the world is your love again,
that horrible comfortable love that grabs me by the temples
to keep me company, rips out my tonsils looking for something,
sews them back in when there’s nothing in my throat
it hasn’t seen before.