Complicated Sugars

Before you knew it, newscasters were everywhere, accidentally bumping into the victims’ caskets, some intentionally, blaming it on the blood moon. Seemed like a good time to tamper with the controls, fall in love a little. Cutting a worm in half doesn’t make two. Not in this paradigm. Recipes had more sugar back then, complicated sugars. Back then as in a spell of belonging. Now it’s all brainfood, eating strategies. You can only read so many memoirs, before the I loses its axis mundi (not that you care). History is greenish, and we take after it. People plant these nonce seeds and, a story cycle later, you’re stuck in their throat. Mucus. Go make something of yourself before they do. A slimy iridescent trail. A shell museum. A mold for all your wildest dreams.

An Egg

Oh, the periphery / they throw good parties there

—Fiona Apple

How big was this year for you? The sun on the table, setting. It’s not worth the pay. Rubato was Chopin's way of "swaying" within rhythm, either speeding up slightly or slowing down slightly to create a sense of pull. Better for rain to fall as it wishes than tabulate each data point. You’ll know if you flood. Can’t count out twang. Love is expensive, it feels you, shapeless you, always on the verge of realizing. A year as wide as your eyes. What are you looking at? What are you looking from? Everything seems distant from inside. I hear my old French Lit professor: You can’t be an egg forever (probably something about Proust). The particulars flesh you out whether you like it or not. It’s bloody. Red Tailed Hawk outside my window in Sunnyside, Queens. Squirrel tries its best to be part of the tree. Listen to my voice shake while I order something.

Shoes Squeak

No way to escape in a way that’s more nutritious. No way to trace yourself out of caring. Dusting things begets it. More you hide, more your shoes squeak. Cockatoo in the Arctic. Stranger Danger starring you, your fully fleshed inner monologue (unintended porn). Clenched beyond recognition. Into a kind of seed that propagates no meaning. No way to flower for a moment without anointing it. Grieving it.  Words thud, unfortunately. Mice scatter. Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye (Mr. Cohen has made an encore). There is no way! I keep running through people’s backyards, mangling delicate lettuces, accidentally trying on clothes. See what I mean? Eventually you’re going to have to settle on something, a name you know won’t age well. Call the game. Take a swing. (The other way around.) Idiomize. Your shadow’s already moving anyway. Plane takes off without you naming all its parts. Statistically speaking, you’ll end up in Myrtle Beach, a little teary-eyed.

Peter Cole Friedman is a preschool teacher, poet, and artist living in Sunnyside, Queens. Recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Wonder, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and Collider.