You looked so far away I felt crazed; gutted myself like
a fish and dug in, laid my entrails bare and ruby-red on
your grandfather’s table and watched you rifle through
them like cheap rings at a weekend market, like I’d make
your fingers swell and stain green and my rubies would
fall off in a day’s wear. This is how you look when I show
you all I have, spread myself before you like a picnic:
here a little bottle of what makes me cry most, a glass
dish of my greatest fears, a tin of mille-feuille folded
from the kind of trust that gives your bones an earthquake,
sugared with the weight of my lashes on your shoulder
as you sleep, the rising and falling of windswept sand
dunes that move with your moods till I’m left on flat
ground with nothing around for miles except the echo
of my own heart in my own ears, chicken head on feather
body, thoughts running all over like lost, motherless children.
Sonya Vatomsky is a Moscow-born, Seattle-raised feminist poetess ghost. She is the author of Salt is for Curing (Sator Press, fall 2015) and chapbook My Heart in Aspic (Porkbelly Press), and is a poetry editor at Fruita Pulp. Find her by saying her name five times in front of a bathroom mirror or at sonyavatomsky.tumblr.com.
Ben McClendon is a PhD student in creative writing at the University of Tennessee. He previously studied poetry at Northern Arizona University after teaching high school English for several years. His poems have appeared in Indiana Review, Yemassee, Chautauqua, Redivider, Rattle, Word Riot, and elsewhere. Ben lives with his husband in Knoxville.