Early February

The summer we phantasmagoriaed ourselves
into oblivion was not the same summer
we couldn’t stop the pop of fat green frogs.
One hundred winters later, the snow
keeps falling, and I penny-candy my disappointments.
To heal the broken hearted, I sticky-glue doilies
to doilies and pony-mail them to Oklahoma.
I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, a friend says,
But Mike’s dead. Liver failure. I look dead Mike up
on Facebook, and he’s an old bloated version
of the kid who’d felt up Debbie D when we were thirteen
and dizzying ourselves with carnival-cake smokes.
It’s just the stuff of life, I wanna tell Debbie D, but
what do I know about holding the memory of a now-dead man’s
hand on my pre-pubescent breast? Maybe nothing.
In the other room, my daughters sing.
All I know: that groundhog was a fucking liar.


Nicole Callihan’s poems, stories and essays have appeared in Forklift, Ohio, Cream City Review, The L Magazine, North American Review and Painted Bride Quarterly. Her first book of poems, SuperLoop, was published in early 2014. Find her on the web at www.nicolecallihan.com