carnations for your quota
the language of satisfaction knows no infinitives
as waiting heightens dizziness, bread cooled down so
hands can pull apart a stale but risen sympathy.
your taxing disappearances marking the table
and all cheap wood you collected, charred like youth
when the eldest sibling rebels – neutral apostate.
to err is like drawing with a white crayon
over sangria Sharpie, musk so strong
that hard work calls for the pink slip.
he reminded you of your industry, how it pays
and will pay but all you remember is absence
in a card he sent without scribbling his love.
happiness makes its rounds in a stained comforter
that dampens at the center, spreading the legs
of exasperation with every “late” phone call.
you could have been someone you’d live with
and introduce to marigold nods, modern lights
that carve you out – Madonna of the Ordinary.
not knowing who your friends are, another name
written in a planner, the back of cold classrooms
ready for recitation and some plastic good deeds.
The Fondest Farewell
my roommate might as well
dip his feet in glittery waste
that made pens of our youth
the root of most ills when we
transferred our dreams and
misshapen outlines of lilies
onto hairless skin, both arms
broken at some point in time
like some unwanted doll we
declined simply because it
looks just like the one we got
the year before, sparks defiling
and ridiculing a goal to be seen
seriously, nightlight in the sky
thrown across fields, hills, and
storage sheds choked up by
boxes, their thyroid problems
more apparent as we close our
flaps on the stickiest regrets, the
skin we colored, neon particles
dancing across cardboard floors
with misunderstandings of loss.
KRISTINE BROWN: On the weekends, Kristine Brown frequently wanders through historic neighborhoods, saying "Hello" to most any cat she encounters. Some of these cats are found on her blog, Crumpled Paper Cranes (https://crumpledpapercranes.com). Her creative work can be found in Hobart, Sea Foam Mag, Philosophical Idiot, among others, and a collection of flash prose and poetry, Scraped Knees, was released in 2017 by Ugly Sapling.