Days or Years Later
I travel the length of your name
down a driveway that is no longer
ours, my pace slower than it should be
in the middle of another winter. Six feet
of snow has fallen between every yesterday
and tomorrow. I might be walking
backwards, waking down.
The good thing about a prison
is its walls. From down here, everything
looks the same as the day we left,
but those are someone else's
curtains, another family's blinds.
My kitchen is as empty
as the Pennsylvania sky. I cannot find
any reasons for nostalgia, any cause
for such concern. I would knock
on the door, but I still have the key.
I would only be returning
to the ghost of a dog, the bitch
of a moon, and neither worth howling at.
lay scattered across the autopsy of your page, exhumed
from memory's shallow grave to make metaphor.
Tiny breasts with brown candy nipples, yonic disrespect
under the guise of ode titled elegy. Small doll-thighs
around misrepresented cock. Everything but anything
of mine. Not my skinny legs or stretch-marked stomach.
Not my inadequate hips or the freckles on my aging skin.
Not the curve of my heel as my feet considered
so many other directions in a decade of snow. No
mention of the one pussy that tore open
to give you life. Not once, but twice.
Why I Can't Eat Toast and Other Aversions
It's not the butter-side-up logic, all soft and melted,
laced with crunchy contradictions as it is, or the tongue-
to-roof-of-mouth freeing of what sticks there. It's not
the crumbs in my hair. Those shake out easy/enough.
It's not the crust-border-conundrum I face each time
I hold the loaf-dictated shape up and consider biting.
I can reconcile that. I makes sense//It is something
about the way my ex-husband baked toast in the oven
for a year in London, where we found ourselves
toasterless and terrified. My anxiety-infested mornings
and catastrophizing evenings could be sedated with
two slices and a cup of tea back then, my share
of the antidepressants swallowed on socialized
medicine's dime. By today's standards I am just
as shaky, and I still refuse to clean the crumb-trap,
that secret door at the bottom where everything
that should be buttered and broken stays in waiting.
April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons. She is currently working on a memoir on raising a child with autism and several collections of poetry. Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, DeadSnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. Her first chapbook, The Girl of My Dreams, is forthcoming in spring, 2015 from Dancing Girl Press. The author serves as co-editor of Kind of a Hurricane Press (www.kindofahurricanepress.com).