by Lauren Sternenberg


The boy shouldn’t be there, trapped in an
embrace, reeking of rotted apricot pits.
His pride, an isle: its walls
Ribbed, speckled with auburn vines.

I molded him from ivory and gold, took
the strongest, sturdiest part of myself and folded it into a jar.
I heat the jar over low heat, using earthquake tremors to
keep the powders from sticking.

I dressed him in muslin and placed him on a table.
He plucked sunlight from the sky and threaded it into a table,
his lips calling forth trembling fingers; flickering lashes;
an ocean overlooking the cosmos.

As soon as he could speak I made him a balcony.
From there, he learned to catch the moment between
the seas’ waves, the perfect conditions for
creation: life.

The edge of his face is damp when I leave, fingers
scrabbling against the dirt, the peonies

A silver ashtray stinking of iodine is his grief.
I’ll be back to taste it.