by Turner Wilson
Our omelets were stiff hotel pillows
laundered with creme fraiche. Wood
deck slats heated with the smell
of lacquer. Her lungs: a tree
shifting in the wind. There’s nothing
on TV; our reception a soft weight.
Mountains are milk teeth. Through the window
I see June folding over
a crackling rattan chair. For muscles
to extend they must relax, they melt
from one shape into another. I relax
towards her. Possibility
is a perforated piece of paper
that hasn’t been creased along
a dotted line. We hold it
at the corners and relax
towards each other. Our arms
stretch out to hold a fitted sheet,
facing one another, luxuriating
in the smell of warm detergent. We lay
with our futures unencumbered.
She holds the flexing fish
of my tongue. Touching her
is eating dinner and not knowing
where I’ve had toasted coriander
before. The friction of a memory
still felt, a bloody socket
where the tooth once was.
My own mouth, unfamiliar,
ready to be learned again.
“Moment of Silence”
I don’t remember the car
hitting the elk. None of it. My mother
whispered to me from the passenger’s seat
in the voice she used in church. It was cold
with most of the windshield missing.
My father was silent with the driver-side
dashboard on his lap, trying to move
us off the highway. Twisting the key,
but nothing turning over.
All the lights were on
inside the car. My brother sat asleep
in his car seat, bits of safety
glass stuck in his hair. Red curls
trapped the shards in a chandelier
around his face. I was looking for the elk
through my window. A face looked back
at me, the freckles under the eyes
getting darker and blood needling
out of the nose. I didn’t think of obsidian
mirrors or dying. The wind blew
and it got colder in what felt like hours
before highway patrol arrived. As I left
the car, my mother brushed the glass
off of my brother and onto the road.
The falling bits of glass made the same sound
as my father pulling the keys from the ignition.
After that, I remember hearing nothing for a while.
Turner Wilson is a poet and writer living in northwest Ohio. He recently graduated from the MFA program at Bowling Green State University. His work has previously appeared in Quatrain.Fish, the Manzano Mountain Review, and Reed Magazine.