there was a time I kept the steak knives
on top of the bookshelf. I ate soft
things, finger foods. I kept dreaming
of opening my front door only to get
a priority mail package and a slashed
jugular. the packages were real: always
boxes of chocolate, the nearest major
holiday themed. always from my mother
with a complimentary note taped to the tin,
thin as a receipt. out the window, a baby
chain waddles across wet cement: furtive
steps, small galoshes, holding hands. careful,
careful. the rain picks up. it tells me a raccoon
wandered into the primate exhibit, tried
to free itself before being drawn and
quartered out of curiosity.
I tell the rain, that anecdote isn’t the kind
of good distraction my therapist told me
to engage in. it tries again, tells me there is a word
for the pope’s hat. I keep thinking cuticle but that
can’t be it. there’s a product women use to moisturize
their cuticles. it’s soft and smells of buttery lemon
zest, beeswax. I’m not the kind to use it. I will cut
my nails and send a photo of my dominant hand, as is
customary in lesbian courtship, when things get real.
I put the phone down and wait, think of the Amazon
review I like, the one that describes a pillow as a friend:
It also sits on its own. Next to you, if you want.
Originally from Merced, California, AC HARMON lives in Oakland. She attended St. Mary’s College of California for her MFA, completing it in June of 2018. Her poetry is often interested in themes of lesbian womanhood, misogyny, violence, mental health, animals, and mythology, and has been featured in Bay Area Generations #47.