Kids out the window by Lisa Alexander


sound like goats
the sky grey like the lining
of my pockets, smells wet
like my McDonald’s birthday
party, how I loved
the fryer, the behind-
the-scenes, the candied
Grimace on my cake
too sweet, but gritty
between my teeth
which are rotting early—
a constant ache in my mouth
a little guy with a pick-axe
beneath my molars heaving
its point into my gums, he must
be installing steel tracks
inside my jawline for some subterranean
city that will never be unearthed
when I smile, no one can see it,
and it’s likely that I’ll never point
this out to you, I’ll just watch
a woodpecker peck the awning
outside my window without
welcoming it into my mouth.
I’ll try not to worry
about what’s beneath your gum line—
what hover-tracked universe you harbor
inside your skull, and instead
I’ll think about goats and how
they kick everything over, and
so would I, if I could get away with it.

Lisa Alexander holds an MFA in Poetry from Drew University and is a member of the Madwomen in the Attic writing workshop. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals including 5 AM, BLOOM and The Burnside Review among others. She’s a sound engineer for Prosody, NPR-affiliate WESA’s weekly show featuring the work of national writers.