by Lizi Gilad
The housewife plays irresponsible games of daring
The crack in the glass
began at the lip. She refuses
to throw it away. Each rinse
in the dishwasher sends the fissure
spidering deeper. El shaped ladle,
vein. Any day now it’ll collapse.
Thirst and gamble. How long
until shards shatter in her hand
or hail breaks on her tongue?
She sets the table for dinner
and knows she’ll set it again
tomorrow: placemat, plate, fork.
Glass, glass, glass.
Bees hummed in my brother’s oxygen
canister. His lips were blue. Our house
grew wild with tubing and reeds.
Forest of plastic ampules. A swimming
pool. The cannula molested his nose.
Fourth finger dipped in Vaseline, nostrils
clotted and dabbed. He ate cheeseburgers,
rested. We tried smiling. No one ever said:
we will not grasp will not gasp will not run
out of air. But thoughts floated around
our shoulders. Our nervous knuckles.
Delivery came on Mondays. Bob knocking
at the door in his uniform, lugboots.
Lizi Gilad is an MFA candidate at UC Riverside’s Low Residency program. Her work is published or forthcoming in Amethyst Arsenic, burntdistrict, Country Dog Review, Melusine, Thrush, and others. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, the daughter of immigrants, and mother of a ten year old lightbulb.