Give Thanks

Cheerios & diapers: she scrapes the crust
of dried peas from roughed-up Tupperware,
eyes fixed on the nestless, squirrelless pines
blocking the kitchenette window:
can’t tell plane-drone from semi-drone
from generator-drone, all engines
summarizing the same bland slogan: you aren’t
alone & never will be, for we have crawled
across this planet & stuffed it, cradle to sky,
& you should be grateful, for your roof for your spatula
& for your ovaries.

The Way It Is

Saffron suffusing the kitchen
& in the next room, the lilting proxy
of a candidate smoothing out race in perpetuity:
there will be no war, there will be no need
in slick parabolas, the country
as in midlife crisis abandoning itself
shamelessly to newness: she lifted
the lid & found the rice firm & golden, flecked
in blood-orange threads, & breathed in
the steam of virtuosity: beneath
the table, the dog rested its big
head on its paws & dreamed of scraps.

Melissa Stein

MELISSA STEINis the author of the poetry collections Terrible blooms (Copper Canyon Press, 2018) and Rough Honey, winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. She is a freelance editor in San Francisco.

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