Staring too Closely

Staring Too Closely
By Erika Nichols
Pilfering pockets for leftover time,
In the hour escorting dawn to doorstep,
the low frequency tremors hum in new light,
Claiming to be as they appear,
their scent foreign to the morning.
I collect flowers whose names escape me,
saving sandy-ashen petals long past their expiration.
Watching ice caps melt,
the widow is determined
to force a winter crop.
Some days I swear
our fields have been salted.
The sweat is growing
too heavy to dance.
Walking with closed eyes,
I think I swallowed a nightmare.
We learn to gather dew under our tongues
and live off it.
Swatting flies from our faces,
I accidentally hit one
and am too proud to apologize.
This bruise is darkening,
like a cherry rotting from the pit,
worsening as I notice it.
Scrape the algae & milk scum
from your gums, if it bothers you.
I feel compelled to stab into the dark
and see what sticks.
Something in the shape or shade
of your eyes makes me lie.
The lining of cheeks sewn with cutlery-
I gnaw on nails to keep my mouth from divulging
Secrets I shouldn’t know.
Searching for scissors in Krakow,
It was the last day of ignorance and
We didn’t speak the language.

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