No good can come of this.
There is only oxygen in
my palm, where cracked lines
undulate and follow the salty
tunnels of years—faucet drips,
mouthfuls of testimonials.
Earth is collected in a toddler’s
plastic cup, clumps of grass
and stock-piles of sticks, like curios
stored in a torn pocket.
A factory of rain water and
prayers in the clouds.
Out of reach, stars and molecules
tease and ridicule. He goes for marbles,
trucks, tinkers, pouches of sand.
I packed and unpacked suitcases,
let grief keep her clothes on. I lined up
pill bottles like a stodgy parliament.
Plate in hand, I saw in a shadow
on the wall, my son bite his toast
into the shape of a gun. That night,
bullet-holes in the moon, in our palms

 
 
CYNTHIA ATKINS’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, American Letters & Commentary, BigCityLit, BOMB, Caketrain,,Clementine, Del Sol Review, Denver Quarterly, Harpur Palate, Inertia, The Journal, North American Review, Sou’wester, Tampa Review, Valparaiso Review, and Verse Daily among others. Her second collection, “In The Event of Full Disclosure” was recently featured on the Huffington Post and the Bill and Dave Cocktail Hour, and reviewed in [PANK] and the North American Review. She earned her MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts and holds residencies from the VCCA and Breadloaf Writer’s Conference and currently is currently the new associate poetry editor of MadHat Lit, and an assistant professor of English at Virginia Western Community College. She lives in Rockbridge County, VA on the Maury River with her family.