From the Tape to the Mixer

This is a letter

from the sticky tape holding up the poster on my wall

to the mixer sitting on your kitchen counter.


Sometimes, we don’t feel good enough;

we aren’t strong enough

to keep holding on, even through all the bumps in the road –

those lumps in the flour just keep bringing us down,

and once the poster I struggle to hold falls once,

I’ll never look back.


It’s not a movie poster –

that’s a few inches above and to the right of me,

and it doesn’t even have an image, honestly.


It’s a sentence.

“My mother is a fish,” it says,

and I remember fishing it

out of the depths of your sugar jar,

desperately trying to scrounge up

enough sugar for this batch of cookies.


And oh –

how you hide in the nonsense.

It doesn’t matter what the sentence is,

what the words are,

because to you, they don’t exist.


There’s no chocolate in the twisty blue of the letter ‘y.’

But it’s blue and

you told me you like blue, because

there aren’t enough blue foods.


It’s a lack of tension

in my shoulders when the poster falls

because I can smell the cookies

from ten hundred miles away, and sometimes

I think it’s the feeling when

they plug you in for the first time in weeks.

The charge of electricity is like heroin

and you’re soaring.


It’s a love letter

from goosebumps to chalk dust,

because I remember how

our skin danced with laughter in the clouds

when we clapped erasers after school,

because our lives have always

been a little too old school.


Sometimes, we don’t feel good enough.

Sometimes, I don’t know

if we can be good enough.

But we’ll always have


the rolling hills in the distance

and the electric feel of a book in our hands.


My eyes look strained in the pictures.


And my teacher told me that

happiness equals flowers.

He said that

and we looked at tulips –


And I thought of the swing set

where you told me you loved me

for the first time

and we held hands

and ran to the twisty slide –


blue like my ‘y’ and

blue like your chocolate chip cookies,

and it was crushing.


Crushing in the break

of the waves of future transmissions.

Dead air is terrifying

because there’s nothing there.


We don’t talk anymore;

you’re in the kitchen and I’m

falling somewhere else for

someone else’s poster.

Yet, I can still smell the chalky dust.


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