by Paige Lewis
So this is water without your mouth-oil
ghosting the surface. How much must I
swallow before I can say that the foxes
are back, possessing our forest, asking
Where are your fruits? And since you
brought me the word paradise, I assume
they mean you. What else can I offer?
That thing about the boiling frogs isn't true—
they know what slow rising heat means,
and they will jump out. All my pots
are empty. Can you see the shroud
of hunger, the crease between my
chest that says Fold here, cut here?
Can't you see these pointed ribs want
to tangle? And what of my fruits?
The foxes are lining my windows,
shielding their eyes from the lamp-light
with soldier salutes and scraping their
teeth against the glass, but it's not all
bad. Sometimes they chirp, and it
sounds less lonely—it sounds like you
skipping stones over our still-frozen pond.
Paige Lewis is an Assistant Poetry Editor at Narrative Magazine. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Ninth Letter and elsewhere.