by Michael Schmeltzer
I am sure the urgent red dress of your voice
is what caused this bruise,
this absurd blue lake
on the back of my thigh.
You are singing in the kitchen,
a knife to your mouth
like a microphone. I am swimmingly
drunk. I am spinning
like a siren. Your song. Your teeth
gleaming. When I topple
we cackle. We are happy
in our crisis.
I am afraid
in the face of your silence.
I have not forgotten the excitement
in your voice, that livewire of light citrus.
Such quiet violence as found on your lips,
as found on the twilight-lace
of a Tuesday evening
when the teakettle stops its train whistle shriek.
Without a word
one of us retrieves the creamer, the other
sugar cubes from the cupboard.
It doesn’t matter
who does what. That
is the worst part.
Michael Schmeltzer was born in Yokosuka, Japan, and eventually moved to the US. He is the author of Elegy/Elk River (Floating Bridge Press, 2015,) winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and Blood Song (Two Sylvias Press, 2016) which was longlisted for the Julie Suk Award. A debut nonfiction book, A Single Throat Opens, (a lyric exploration of addiction written collaboratively with Meghan McClure) is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press and is now available for pre-sale.