(Hoa Enters the Kitchen)
by Dale Smith

HOA ENTERS THE KITCHEN heaving a sigh. The boys sleep. She pours a cup of lemon balm tea. I listen to liquid pour out into the mug and hear her spoon stirring in milk and honey. “I’m fat,” she says. “You look great,” I say. “You just had a baby and you’re beautiful.” She wears purple pants and goes across the room to read, flipping pages of a magazine next to a stuffed, mechanical bird. A blue balloon dog faces me. The pothos are wild and flourishing. There’s puked up breast milk on my shirt.

          Quiet room sunflower blossoms
          wilt by a lamp’s weak light
          and a spider’s blue shadow
          sidewinds above horizons
          of grey parallel ink lines (Italian).
          A torn calendar bookmark shows
          Amicus stood word of the day
          Tertius/Tuesday, Martius/March 19.
          A crease in the fold obscures
          all but this in a quote:
          “…populo romano cogitare.”
          Spider reaches far frontiers
          other side of the table.
          Light tonight is yellow.


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