YOU COULD DO ANYTHING YOU WANTED
a found poem using language from the NYT Minus Context Twitter account
You could eat a watermelon in the subway—
eat the earth and eat all the people on it.
Millions of children eat breakfast at tables—eat maple
syrup and ice cream and everything—eat without pausing for breath.
Trust me when I say: you will not care
about topics like cutlery and why we use it,
windows and why we have them, and walls
and why need them.
Like how there are so many types of floss.
Like staying in bed till noon.
Like how people die, and we watch them.
And how do you become a thing—molt into something tender,
oddly lumpy, imperfect, maybe-not-young?
Look—you’re making honey.
Listen—you’re getting ready for bed, just underwater.
You can’t help it—that vague unease it’s too good
to be true: the ice cream, the butter for breakfast,
the faces, flowers, face-flowers—
* * *
STILL LIFE WITH BROKEN FLOWER POT ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR
Too-hot honey & butter pops
in the pan over blue flame, the carrots
turning a wooden shade of brown
like the leaves outside the window
above the sink full of soapy water
& lime-crusted highballs, still
smelling of gin & lipstick.
Another pop in the pan: I forgot
the nutmeg, the onions, the basil,
the coffee grounds, the ice, the cigarettes,
the bubblegum, the microwave, the smell
of cilantro, the song on the radio—forgot
the sound of my name in the mouth of another.
Then, there, on the linoleum—
terracotta splayed and bleeding
black dirt. This brain turning
into something I can no longer call
my own. Something to wipe clean
on the apron around my waist.
Cracked clay, torn leaf, so much dirt.
Bird at the window. I stood looking at my
hands, not knowing when it fell.
Caroline Parkman Barr is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she served as Poetry Editor of The Greensboro Review. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in RHINO, NELLE, South Carolina Review, The Hunger, North Dakota Quarterly, Juke Joint, Connotation Press, and elsewhere. She is currently an editorial assistant for Poetry Northwest living in Birmingham, Alabama.