You play the fretted verb

of my spine; you

pervade; you sculpt me

to your negative space.


Silvering fish rise

to the wave: my sharp hip

juts, a rock holding out

against the honeyfingered sea.


The string of salted

hours stretches on

as the pins in the lock

keep shifting.


You are plush,


quick to act,

in every way a liability.


I am unfit

for human company;

I inhabit a surrogate world.

My hands lately are made of happy wasps.


Go on and crush me

with your bag of chances.

Custom dictates that here we close our eyes

and throw pennies into the future.

Katie Tunning lives in Philadelphia, where she knits, plays Scrabble, and occasionally remembers to write poetry.

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