Oysters two

Oysters two

An order was placed and delivered.
I was distracted, and when I twist
to look back to you—
two, about to slurp together

stare, never eaten one before
never even at a table serving
unaware I’d never had 
one, coming straight from my family

you noticed my glare, put on body language 
of “what? who cares?”
why didn’t you ask, encourage, 
seem interested in trying

out-of-sight, out of your mind
our backs nearly touching
you ask, anticipating me
no, afterthought doesn’t get the first slurp

two, chins up
why continue this pairing of salt?
“What is there to be interested in?”

the life you crave is out of reach,
you have a predisposed idea of my limits
in the world, your trail 

two, shoot together
watch the salty slink down your throat
lost already to a secret club, and I
out on a sting, unraveling

you prepare an oyster for me
I shoot, like you say
I chew, chew
I need to chew faster

gone before I’ve tasted the salt mentioned
I’ll try again
I’ll keep trying
“What is there to be interested in?”

pair you together, why don’t you
peel, pulling, never-ending now
prying, sinking across the island
crisp paper holds you, and yours


This is the form I'm working in right now and it feels good. Shaping it is more joyful to me than revising my other work. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that I've been craving and reading more poetry—Sylvia Plath, Giacomo Leopardi, Mary Oliver, and more Maggie Nelson. I’m sure it has something to do with the fact that I've been distracted. I’ve been distracting myself from the things I claim are important to me. The brevity and immediacy of poetry matches the way I’ve been thinking. So, I’ll start telling stories in this form.