Comfort is a pale yellow kitchen
I feel like a video whose sound is gradually growing out of sync with the visuals.
Is it strange if I gather up all of the locks of your hair from the ground –
that I snipped off your head while you polished your only good shoes
and we made mean jokes about irrelevant brides?
I want to remember you
the way people think about the earth spinning and how it is getting hotter.
You are acting more surreal
as your teeth become sharper,
and my laughter is a feast:
your eyes are the main course, a delicacy.
I will devour every bite of it, swallow each morsel of a sad thought,
and become feverish on my own confusion.
I want a sort of marriage between myself and the celebration of raucous delight
in all platonic love and the security of home.
I want out of any home that never opens its windows.
I want my name to flow smooth and classy like
Eleanor Jackson, Hanna Lou, or Sally Young.
On my birthday Alice brought me a small, beveled vase,
apricot, the color of her childhood bedroom, so delicate
I wanted to smash it like a smoke bomb and take off running.
There's too much ache in beauty, in the swollen pustules of love
like that first night we stayed up so late our eyes turned red
and your sincerity started seeping out from all your pores,
as if you were in a sauna, releasing yourself, finally breathing
after all these years.
When we paint the kitchen a pale yellow all I can think about is comfort
like a big can of peaches.
We are hoping for something new and perfumey to blossom in our room.
I imagine myself as the cartoon of an egg slowly cracking down the side.
We pretend to know the things we don't really know.
Move with me to Texas, we'll pave a road over the land of our tiffs
and forget about everything
but painting our kitchen,
planting hot chili peppers, and buying fresh fruit round the corner.
Rebecca Hanssens-Reed is a writer and translator whose work can be found in The Saint Ann's Review and The Reader. She is currently at work on a translation of Jorge Ángel Pérez's book of short stories, They're Not So Elegant in Havana. She works at an organic bakery and is successfully growing her first tomato plant in Northampton, MA.