A Pretty Nice Way of Living

Pooky girl slurps her hot chocolate
with marshmallows. An apple and
some orange juice took too long
yesterday, she says; hot chocolate
and marshmallows are quicker,
and then she can pretend
she’s drinking coffee.

At the garden, she helped me
unkink the hose while telling me
how she told everyone in her class
that her mom writes poems and just
got some published, and one kid said
maybe his mom had read my poems,
and she said, Well, has she ever heard
of Marilyn Cavicchia? And the kid
said, That sounds familiar.

There’s fiction is this somewhere,
but it all feels true.

The Algonquin Indians have
a pretty nice way of living,
she says. I probably have
more than a thousand
hairs on my head.



If it’s Tuesday p.m., which it is here now, be sure to check out Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.



Death is a preventable fiction. I am blooming now
like never before, standing tall and so healthy that
surely I will be passed over. Only someone truly
cruel would look at my orange petals, the mosaic
I have made out of sun, to represent the sun,
and say I should not live to see December, then
another spring, another summer. I will be the first
of my kind, in our portion of earth, to make it
through to the other side—because I have
made myself beautiful. I have been useful.
The bee came again yesterday, but she was
slower, less hungry. Still, she whispered her plan
to me, how she will fly so fast, up into the cold sky,
that no one can catch her. I told her I will be here
when it’s safe to come back. I will feed her then.



Check out Open Link Night at dVerse Poets every Tuesday p.m.



My best attribute is that I’m wearing a green sweater today,
and in it, I never tell lies. It’s my truth-telling sweater, and I
have one in every color, only some of them are T-shirts—
when I’m wearing short sleeves, all you get are half-truths.
But that’s better than what most people give you. Whatever
they have on, you’re only getting tank top-level honesty,
or a bra, or pasties. Or bare chest. But maybe I have this
all wrong—maybe the only truth is in flesh, in which case,
I have things completely reversed. In which case, I
apologize. In which case, I have been lying to myself.
Put the kettle on, someone—it’s a chilly night,
and I have a lot of new truths to tell.



For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.



Try to force a rabbit into
this tiny paper bag. I will
wait while you do it.

Sometimes the rabbit bites.
Be careful. It only wants
what it feels it is owed.

What do you owe to each
rabbit you know of? Please
count the ones you’ve

run over in your auto
when you were motoring
much too fast. Entirely

too fast. Some roads
were not meant to be
driven; these include

the ones with rabbits
on or beside them. I am
not telling you anything

you don’t know already.
I am only acting as your
particular friend, the one

who knows where all
your rabbits are, and
at what time they leap.



For Open Link Night at dVerse Poets.



Algebra of Eating

Inside, I am as wide as a
cruller, but only half as sweet.
It’s best not to eat pigeon
until you’ve eaten crow.

What’s eating you? Can you
name it, your particular octopus?
What separates edible from non?
Is it all just a trick of the light?

It’s necessary, some type of order,
so we stop eating once we hit plate,
or at least table; we would hurt
our mouths on the crust of the Earth.

It’s exhausting, though, the sorting:
Eat a Baby Ruth but not its wrapper,
and eschew actual babies. If you must,
you can lightly chew their toes. This is

acceptable. It is acceptable, also,
to eat a cow, but not a dog.
I spend my days working on this
algebra of eating, this formula

that keeps me upright, somewhat
in the world’s good graces, though
my jaws don’t know the difference—
they’re just looking for the next bite.



If it’s Tuesday p.m., check out Open Link Night at dVerse Poets. Also, a programming note: I’ll be writing every day in October (no specific theme) but will go back to posting only on Tuesdays. I have limited firepower, here — September was fun, but now it’s time to rebuild my bank of submittables and not previously publish them each and every day.