2 Prose Poems

*Content warning: suicide ideation


Say it’s okay dinner is shaped like a fish but made out of honey and drizzles of cranberry, there are peels of gouda, there are coconut strands, your mother’s kitchen is all steam, say the rain stops—and it will—should we go for mussels and garlic toast or should I spend all day pretending to write when I know as well as you do I’ll never be able to capture the Sauvignon Blanc, life is a yawn and then there’s passion fruit, I say I love gooseberry but really I mean wings of honeydew, I mean clingstone and donut, some days I feel like I’m arctic supreme with you, maybe nectarines, say you know my mind has melted like butter with rosemary, say I’m flavorful, say I’m okay, I’m your perfect scallion slice, I am your long-simmered chicken stock, just say I’m yours and we can make jumbo crabcakes in the hot tub, say you choke on linguini coated in crushed red pepper and cloves, would you look to me for help or elsewhere, please admit I am simmering, I am spring, I am so sweet you wouldn’t even mind the blood, let’s say I tell you about the blood anyway, the times I opened old journals and bandages fell out, I am a skip away from a new scar, I haven’t yet told you but I relapsed on the beach and all the couples were eating lobster rolls on butter buns, there were children sitting in the surf, my friend tells me eventually I’ll be brave enough to say words like suicide, I’m anxiously switching out blood for shells, every time I say potato I mean I’m one step closer to telling you about burning, red bowl, thick stock, okra so soft it could be cut with a fork, I play with a paring knife beneath the table, I dream about telling my mother what happened, I dream about you, warm bread, tangy pescado frito, say my grandmother’s hands are here, just say it—smoked trout, stone fruit, snapping peas, saffron and cigarettes—but why can’t you just say squid, shrimp, scallion, summertime-style spice, sea, slow, starve.


The field around was amber, half-dead; that was just what happened in-between fall and winter. The girls volunteer in their spotted dresses and lion hats, jubilant beneath a grin of moon. It was November, of course it was, sitting on a stool as drunk teenagers tried, and failed, to hit my outline with knives. We’d been broken up for three months. Little else matters. No goodbye in the frosting of a cake, can’t leave this town, no more getting lost in the forest in the green-gold dawn. There are rumors of sticky diner counter kisses, waitresses and cooks, her face a toothy grin, her shadow growing like leaves and flowers. Oh, this old thing? A situation, a goose for dinner, you know all about the shiny side of the knife. These days it’s funny to care. Northeaseter, elsanta, jewels then earliglows, everything is soft, someone’s teeth click together, sometimes I wish I were a sheep inside of a wolf. Inside his stomach, I imagine softness. Little places in the rib cage where I could hang my coat. Do wolves wear coats, bear ribs? We’d be unrecognizable in all that weather, scruff, singing then growling, I used to think you would come back. They barely miss my head. Bonnets and reapers, tabasco in bundles of cloth, you were never in love, first act, sweet and singing serrano. I return to the grey light of dawn. I struggle to get the knives out of the wall. Have I always been this angry? All that lasting impression, always figured you hated my freckles and floppy hair, wanted to keep me stuffed in a box, bluecrop then blueray, lowbush, rabbiteye as you gather misty bluegolds in your little green apron.

Sam Moe

Sam Moe is the author of two poetry books, with two more forthcoming in 2024: Animal Heart (3-Day Chapbook Contest) and Cicatrizing the Daughters (FlowerSong Press) and she has received fellowships from Longleaf Writer’s Conference and Key West Literary Seminar, as well as writing residencies from VCCA and Château d’Orquevaux. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Texas Review, Southeast Review, Westchester Review, and others.

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