Be a darling and fill a jar with jellybeans

Be a darling and fill a jar with jellybeans and
exhaust yourself searching for fancy cocktails 
and cigarettes. Every vice is a vice whether it’s  
this or that. Pick a card and pick at the charred
remains of love, or whatever you call this coupling.

I’m locked in my room on the computer
chipping away at an untitled novel that will never 
end. When you announce that we’re out of mustard, 
even though I know it’s not true, I don’t call you 
lazy or stupid or whatever insult that bubbles to my lips. 

I march to the fridge, fling open the door, and there: 
zesty mustard, unopened jar, patiently waiting for your 
appetite. Yes, it’s time to cook the family dinner.
Be a darling and make something everyone will 
eat without complaint, something without mushrooms. Now
the hard part is over—they’re gone. Uncork the wine. 

Honey, fast forward fifteen years—everyone’s 
here: a family reunion complete with bonfire, 
open sky, and a swing set for the grandkids 
round back. I’ll only visit for a few minutes—  
seeking shelter in my locked room—I won’t traumatize 
even one person with my card tricks and this 
mutilated face. My keystrokes are shooting stars,  
and you, my cellmate, my partner, my love, will 
never outlast that scorching blazing sun.  

Cat Dixon

Cat Dixon (she/her) is the author of Eva and Too Heavy to Carry (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2016, 2014) and the chapbook, Table for Two (Poet's Haven, 2019). Work forthcoming from Sledgehammer Lit and Whale Road Review. She is a poetry editor at The Good Life Review. Website: catdix.com Twitter: @DixonCat