A Study in the Domestic

I purchased the curlers
the dress long legs
I wanted to be 70s
and carefree but now
I am 90s and anxious
the grapefruit rotten
in the vegetable crisper
the joint abandoned
at the bathroom sink
I made a pot of coffee
but it turned out weak
as water all through
the drip I held my breasts
in prayer a prayer I took
from my parents the guests
are on their way expecting
floating islands mine only
coddled meringue out
to sea the girl at my feet
is wearing diamonds
for teeth all millennial
glib and glimmer she
extends her hand for what
is owed her and I want
to give her everything
but once again I’m stripped
and vague and all
that’s left is rotten fruit

Katie Mertz is Associate Editor for Whiskey Island and Assistant Poetry Editor for Phantom Limb Press. When she is not doing those things, she is co-curating the BIG BIG MESS reading series and making noise at the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poor Claudia, Ilk, Toad le Journal, Birdfeast & others. Her poem "This is How to Be Good" was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Akron, Ohio.