The Flavor Never Lasts

the spines of angels with paws
are more fragile
than she or they admit

she doesn’t hear the rolling wave
spill into its crash
the wind has drowned

out everything save itself
she can’t even hear herself beg
for a longer reprieve

before daylight hesitates
on its way to breaking
open access splits

down the middle / cardinals escape
out the side / bark scraps
trailing from their beaks

please leave all memories outside / remove any trace

of feeling from the inaccessible
lobby steps / tell
the furnace to slow down

the piano is drunk
again and the chairs are holding
a wooden stare down contest

in the corridor
that trails off / a dream
of flying across an ocean

in a massive jet
with a boy she knew
when she was six

all night dreams unfold
in the present tense
daydreams the future perfect

nothing imperfect
about the reels
she splices together

the boy sits with her
on a contorted tree branch
in his grandmother’s front yard

an arranged marriage
they like each other well enough
just prefer to have his sister

join them on a post-honeymoon walk
along the rocky beach
in search of mermaid toenails

they will have been laughing
because everyone knows
mermaids don’t have feet

their tragic curse to be given no warning

of the scales
that might crowd out
their afternoon visions

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