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 (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