Joy, the Long Unfinished Bridge, Carries You

Divot at the tip of your nose, fracture-
like notch—inexplicable—in the clavicle.
You have a taste for, propensity toward,

history of what? Your teeth come rotting out.
Your people? Signs of a fresh-snuffed fire.

Joy, the long, unfinished bridge, carries you
only so far: strangers with blowing scarves,
reflections in glass doors; scent of pencil shavings

between her legs; marzipan berries
with their starred capes of plastic.

***

Expecting Naught

Glittering, beer-drowned slug trail; wisp of web
torn loose by rain: leaving leaves no small

sadness unmarked. Expecting naught
where nothing has been, her hard knot

goes squarer, tightens further beneath me.
I lick my cracked lips: if she were a cake

baked with butter enough to kill me, I’d
claw against the hot pan for crumbs.

***

One Does Not Sleep

Again and again, one wakes
and gives oneself a vapid gift:

to try one’s hand at thought.
Invention, rarely; intention,

more and most likely. Days only
hours. Too many, all flattened

boxes wedged between wall
and headboard. Then! The hopeful

nightmare in the short dark. Oiled,
coiled, potential spring. What’s more

to want? One does not sleep, and cannot
do. One begins to love that quiet nothing.

One obeys the bulb.
One eats, when hungry.

***

Katherine Fallon received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Meridian, Passages North, Permafrost, The Colorado Review, and Foundry, among others. Her chapbook, The Toothmakers’ Daughters, is available through Finishing Line Press. She teaches in the Department of Writing & Linguistics at Georgia Southern University, and shares domestic square footage with two cats and her favorite human, who helps her zip her dresses.