Call until the landline fries, pinch
the wire, shaking of heartburn,
think about your limbs sprawled in the
street on your way home from work.
The scene jabs, prods,
pokes until I bite a bullet.
Leave a voicemail about how
our orange cat met another orange cat and
had tiny gray babies by the nearest 7/11, how
I named them Fresco, Neon, Mural, Slushie, and
Please Come Home Now.
My eyes flutter daffodils in early fall
while my organs crave a jagged sunrise.
Wonder would we be together
if we were penguins three centuries ago,
silvery, emperors of Antarctica,
ripping fish from the water, knocking beaks.
Did you know that penguins huddle
together in packs to warm their babies?
Are we saying I love you to stave off chills,
shivers of isolation?
Do the penguins love each other,
or are their bodies just tools to survive?
Stomp a rhythm on the stairs so you’ll listen,
carve a message from the beat,
think in coils until you’re out of brain juice,
crash on the sofa and nap until
the sun comes around tomorrow.
I’ll make a Morse Code message
that may or may not exist,
bake strawberry rhubarb pies out of stalks
collected over a year of craving.
Search the thrift shop
for a well-loved blanket
to turn into a sweater so you’re warm
when I show you drawings of us
as Triassic pebbles in love.
Preferably pre-owned by a grandma who
burned candles for her grandchildren and
smacked her children
but softened as she burrowed with age.
Wrap ourselves in blankets and
tiptoe through the muddy patches,
the showered grass,
the enclave of paradise when it storms,
lay ourselves in a shy creek and
steep in the primordial soup.
Julieanne Larick is a Midwestern Best of the Net-nominated poet. Her work has been recognized by The Academy of American Poets, Hollins University, The Young Writers’ Initiative, and AWP. She has writing in GASHER Journal, perhappened mag, Eunoia Review, Kissing Dynamite, and more. Julieanne reads for GASHER Journal and edits fiction for jmww Journal. She tweets @crookyshanks. Find her work at http://www.julielarickwriting.com.