Some Like it Hot

I can handle it so hot, I measure fire by feet.

My hair, a sour flame, cool aches blueing my feet.

I peel back citrus, skin, sapphire, blue, a quiet bleeding

in my nails, soft itch and red sheen blistering my feet.

Without a diagnosis I am just a mystery, a single pear

on the counter, or weighing a drunken breeze in feet.

Olive oil comes in refined, virgin, extra virgin: guess which one

you’d best like to dip your butter in, pour on a plate by the feet.

I made myself a pie because I love to; I made a cherry pie with no

pits but maraschinos, stood until numbing the bottoms of my feet.

When I feel sick or splintered or stop dreaming altogether,

grandma says to sleep with a sliced potato bound to my feet.

On the days my finger bones crack like cheap bucket crab,

a sizzling cob of corn, crawfish butter dripping a burn to my feet.

You tell me you are sorry, but I am the sore, sorry one.

A chair with two legs. A racehorse with broken, broken feet.

Women orgasm easier with their socks on. I stare at my soft,

naked legs, layers of knee-high, ankle, no show, bulked feet.

When the bones burn, I mean ache, I mean stop talking,

I need something heavy or hot to mummy-bandage my feet.

Arthritis is a sickness I won’t name. I am young; I am young;

I am young and there’s so much more to touch with bare feet.

My home: a mosaic of tamped carpet, wet cropped circles. I sit

with thighs stuck to carpet, criss-cross legs, blessing unruly feet.


Chrissy Martin is a PhD student at Oklahoma State University and has an MFA in Poetry from Columbia College Chicago. She is the Poetry Editor for Arcturus and an editorial assistant for Cimarron Review. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Comstock Review, The Southern Review, Atticus Review and Breakwater Review. Find her at chrissymartinpoetry.com.