The garlic clove crunches under a mallet’s teeth, or maybe your palm. Picture this: a red-headed child walks in the door, swinging her backpack. She asks why the triceratops eat only flowers. You’ve taught her to love the unknown, fear the omnipotents, but she wants the answers anyway. Forgotten, she feels like July as she pulls away the cornhusks and leans on your side of the table. She tells you stir fry makes the grass grow, but weeds live in the oil. Lemon juices race down your arm, burning into the mosquito bite on your elbow. Outside, rain patters the tulips.
Grey Goose and Grim Grins
I saw a mockingbird crack a joke yesterday morning. She dipped her wing into my coffee-- hot wings. I heard my daughter’s voice singing through dappled feathers. And the wren whispered that I, like my daughter, can weave nooses with the cusps of my split-ends, cut into cords. I can carry myself upward to the draft floating the wren where the ropes wrap smoother than lightning.
Mandibled in folklore, I’m carried stranger to a stranger: I’m metheglin today-- cinnamon, oak, and well-water. Check my pulse for a list of ingredients common to my tongue —use your lips softly because his teeth petaled bruises. Before you leave, take me through Avalon’s groves. Tuck me into the amber until my marrow thickens gentle. His dirt-smudged fingers will pry me from my own density. If I wake tomorrow as a bottled body laced with absinthe, I’ll chase the water with bourbon aged in a shot of something blue.
-- Hannah Warren is an MFA student at the University of Kansas, and her works have appeared recently or will soon appear in The Vignette Review, Soundings East, and The Nottingham Review. Hannah often writes about death but hopes never to experience it.