Half-hummed: a singular track along the crisis line. West Texas drawl, jailbird minutes, a gloss over your eyes; you guide my hands to be the catalyst for some sincere heaven. Cutting through windows: laundromat blue, metallic smile— I wilt in your eyes so you water me. “I want to see your teeth,” so I stand in your thunder (gold-mouthed, open, in the morning) and I giggle when you tell me to. Ghost of a cheater on math tests and more, I’m wasted in the microscope of psychiatry. A million rattlesnakes— I set you ablaze, pull you back from jargon: cortisol rush, dialectic, absent bitterness. I’m not liable for the ebb and flow of what pools inside me. When I cut and put a dollar in the vending machine, I’ll think of your hands against the bar. If I find your name among the violent, I’ll say a prayer and disinfect my knees.
— Francesca Miller-Barrett (she/they) is a poet residing with her spouse and cats in Chicago. She is a two time recipient of the Ruth Cooley Poetry Prize, awarded through the American Academy of Poets University and College Prizes. Her work has been featured in Parquet Poetry. You can find her on Twitter @francescapoet.