3 Poems by Christine Friedlander


WHERE WE’RE GOING –

1.

Only one bathroom. No pants, more service.
A back curled like a moon. I am not one to cat-call.
You are not one to ebb. Here, things are always flowing.

2.

Both floaters and sinkers. The street beats.
The gutter spills. These head wounds: fresh.
Hours spent bedazzling the gauze.

3.

The dog is dead. We buried him years ago.
Dirty words apologies are. When alone, we self-destruct.
Like a dog.

4.

Only certain meats to be trusted. Be careful: the oven is hot.
Don’t burn your phantom limb on the way out. It’s my favorite.

5.

Shape-shift into second gear. Don’t know how to drive stick.
Or handle the knob. You’d make for an ugly car.

The rear view: always missing.

6.

You are nowhere to be found. The milk is spoiling.
Once upon a time, a boy went looking under his parents’ bed
and found it. That light we’ve all been looking for.

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CHECK OUT THIS COOL CINNAMON CHALLENGE VIDEO I JUST UPLOADED TO YOUTUBE

Today, I’m feeling spicy. I’m feeling sin of man. This is a live recording. I take a bite. The frat boy I cradle in my stomach rolls into himself like a muscle. I take a swallow. The soul evacuates through a porthole. Red light pulsing. Through a lens, it’s easy to map the trajectory of a projectile into the sinkhole. Easy to impart the look, stall the narrative. Or narrate the stall. Whatever. Need to wipe my face. Need to borrow a sleeve.

 

Feel like getting sleeves off the streets. I’ll be transforming people all over the place. Look at me. More footage for the gag reel. As director, I find the lack of resolution troubling. I’ll wear a mask now that the narrative is buried. I am full of spelling errors and biological errors and translational errors oh god oh god.

 

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LAST TIME I WILL EVER READ AN OVEN MANUAL BEFORE BED

 

Light a fire under the oven.

 

Not under the oven, but in the oven.

 

What oven? My Easy-Bake Oven.  Baby’s First Oven.

 

My Baby-Baking Oven. (Bad baby joke.)

 

You know who told the best dead baby jokes?

 

(                                                                       ).

 

Bought an oven that self-cleans.  Upgrade. Women self-clean

 

all the time. Perfume their wrists. Pluck their brows. Set their hair in mini-ovens.

 

Soft-hat, long hose, perfect curl. Hard to wrap my head around them, babies,

 

with their soft heads. Buns are sometimes pulled out of the oven with tongs.

 

(I’m not sure if they’re called tongs. Hunger colors things. This oven

 

colors things. Mostly, my view.)

 

Make baby indents on baby heads.

 

Indent a baby. Backspace a baby. Delete a baby. New paragraph.

 

You know what I hate? Barbeques. Men grilling baby-back ribs

 

at the shore.  What’s in sight is in mind. What’s inside

 

this mind: weather. Thunder-snow. The gravitational pull of tides.

 

All of these water bodies lapping the shore, spilling over themselves,

 

like hungry mouths do.

 

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CHRISTINE FRIEDLANDER is an MFA Candidate at the University of
Minnesota, where she writes poetry, swims competitively, teaches
undergraduate English, and plays with gauze. She has also proven
mighty helpful in case of an emergency. Her writing has appeared in or
is forthcoming from Fugue, Gigantic Sequins, and elsewhere. Follow her
at christinefriedlander.com.