A Hodgepodge of the Things Not Played

          By Claire Harvey

Pokemon cards. The late night special and a slow dance
over waffles.

Syrup. Viola. Affection with your parents.
When you crashed the Buick. The sound of gracious
vomit: a premature body covered with substances, your sister
in the back and the lane changes.

Mini-golf. A mirage to Mrs. Eleanor, the family of the Rigby’s.
The studio version and the split pause
our foreheads in the shadow and the sound of a walk,
or how the immune system reacts to what we created and cannot take back.

But that has nothing to do with it.

Lets talk about this phobia, this terror of affection.
Football. Kissing your mother's cheeks. My darling,
the calcium in our bones is beginning to boil under this
compression. It’s a cranial carnival. The radio on in the snow.

The sound of the toilet flushing. The sound of the shower,
the sound of soap in water. Asking why until there is no
answer.

With the remote, with the lace, with the strings, cello
and the body. Shortstop. Oliver. Ophelia. Forks in the
toaster. Catching these conversations, betting luck on them,
and playing with the string until it is thread.