Clean out

 

And so a playbill,

a box of kitchen matches

with blue heads and

a dry red rubber band

that parts at touch

from the belly of the box,

 

and a flat stone

similar to sea glass

that her child picked up

and stuck in her palm

more years ago than

she’s kept track. Junk

in a drawer she’s set

to empty, half-filled

trashcan ready.

 

She once knew the guy

who played

Horatio

who first appeared in Act I,

Scene I. He had a mustache,

freckles on his chest in summer

when they swam.

 

The photocopied playbill

reminds her

of his last name

but not his eye-color,

not his voice.

 

 

First Bite

 

Waiting

for another hour and ten minutes

in the food court

in the hub-city airport

with the black and white

rocking chairs

by the escalators

 

something he said to her once

returns:

It takes many, many years

to distill experience into prose.

 

Now there is vinegar

running down her right hand

from the overpriced submarine sandwich

chockfull, not of veggies

but of cheese and turkey,

 

now there is a recycled napkin—swipe-swipe.

But she carries its acidic scent

as perfume on the insides of her wrists

walking back with her carryon to Concourse C

with the vague memory of the place

where they bought the caramel apples

once,

 

the practiced flick of the employee’s wrist

rolling each globed fruit on a stick in

a puddle of evenly-crushed pecans.

She’s tried many times to emulate

with a simple cutting board and knife;

no effort matches

 

what it was like, that first perfect bite.

 

 

Melanie Faith

 

Melanie Faith is a poet, fictionist, photographer, editor, tutor, and professor. Her writing has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes. Melanie collects quotes, books, and twinkly costume-jewelry pins, and she enjoys spending time with her darling nieces. She holds an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. Her photography recently appeared in Harbor Review and The Moving Force Journal, and her poetry appeared in Verse of Silence. Get her artwork at WritePathProductions at Etsy. Her latest book, Photography for Writers, was published in Nov. 2019 (Vine Leaves Press) https://www.vineleavespress.com/photography-for-writers-bymelanie-faith.html . Learn about her latest projects at: https://www.melaniedfaith.com/blog/ and https://twitter.com/writer_faith .

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