Not knowing when to say yes or how,
or for what price. Too scared to touch, they shiver
around each other and finger
the hole in the wall. Trying to say “like this?”
And after dinner, they flip the circular table over and rub the legs
and one of them says “No, like this.”
They move with their hands, loving everything
but each other. “See this picture? I made this picture.
See this hand?” They touch everything open. First,
the mango. Letting the pulp dry on their sky,
not wanting to peel it off and not knowing
how. Then they move to smaller things-
licking the paint off the walls and once their tongues
are gaping they say, “See? See what I did for love?”
And when they do touch, after they’ve touched apart the house
And opened and closed the doors so many times that the hinges turned
weak and their bed has been loved into the floor so deep
you can bathe in it. Once they do touch, when they are too old
for politics, or nighttime, or poetry, they remember
the low sound of thunder rumbling in the distance and are wiped clean.
Kallie Falandays is the editor of mojo magazine and Kenning journal. Her poems have been published in, or are forthcoming from, PANK, Paper Darts, ILK, Deluge, Menacing Hedge, The Dirty Napkin, and Skydeer Helpking.