Stick & Poke

1

Little perfect
aches haunt
the morning,
and my
schedule
in just the way
I love it

I wish
I could
do better.

I want
tender
sugar
cereal
at a weird
time of day

and there
is no
compromise
in me

I simply
crave it.

2

The future
is dangerous
and I play
with my
lighter

I have never
felt more at
a loss nor more
at ease

Imagine a girl

standing in the
middle of a cold
lake in an old
big dress with
her arms out
That’s me

with my
arms out

The look
of relief
on
her
face
is as bright
as peaches

3

A white
creme cellar
door inside
me opens
right
when I’m
typing basic
keys

& I never

learned
How to
Talk Right.

I’m bad
at looking

I’m bad
w/ eyes

The room
is crowded

& the system
of references is
not referencing me

I have never
seen myself
in a movie

before you

punched me

The clock

& left

4

Hanging out

is like
tending
a community
garden

Every day
gorgeous
oranges

radishes

& Air Plants
with minds
of their own

A rock
Is a
crystal.

I want
a stick
& poke
garden

Ink on blood
flowers

Where I
won’t say
anything.

Richard Chiem

Richard Chiem is the author of You Private Person, a collection of short stories published by Scrambler Books in 2012 and re-released by Sorry House Classics in 2017, and the novel King of Joy. His work has appeared in City Arts Magazine, Fanzine, and Moss Magazine, among other places.

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