sometimes i just want to wake up and have a mountain slap me in the face and say HERE YOU GO, BITCH, HERE’S YOUR GODDAMN HOME and i think then i’ll be happy. all i’ve ever been looking for is someplace where out the window is something bigger than me. not in an inspirational way, but in the literal way that mount rainier looks half the size of your head as you drive across lake washington in july but it’s really 68.9 miles away. that is the kind of big i am looking for. 14,411 feet. 500,000 years. out my window now there is just another building that looks like mine and all i can wonder is what’s the rent there and is their basement as terrible as ours. sometimes i look at the trees on my street and cry because they are so small. i guess if nature wanted to, then one of them could fall and crush something, but the danger is never as imminent as when, in any kind of storm, the pine trees thin as veins and tall as two houses, one on top of the other, and then maybe a little more, that stood directly across the street from my bedroom window would sway, as if in slow motion, teasing you as they wondered how far they could bend until breaking, the breaking always happening in nightmares after my mom and dad woke us up to bring us to the basement for the rest of the night. all i’m saying is, i grew up learning about serial killers in the woods and there were feet washing up on the shore and none of us batted an eye. it’s dangerous out there. and you didn’t forget it, because everywhere you looked you knew you were just another puny thing, scrambling through the moss, waiting for the earthquake, the volcano, the wave. loving each leaf anyway.
#F8E0E5 (Saturday morning, July 2015)
potato underbelly softing all over the bed, i wriggle
into sleep like somebody’s got something to yell at me
so i’ll cry harder.
cutting a fat thumb on the jagged can of coconut milk
produces a fresh pink sunset for $3.49.
this saturday morning, i will sleep in until eight
eat rice with my fingers
and wonder quietly when everyone i love will wake up.
Clair Dunlap grew up just outside Seattle, Washington, and started writing poems at the age of six. She is the author of In the Plum Dark Belly (Beard Poetry, 2016) and her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Ilanot Review, SWWIM, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, L’Éphémère Review, Hobart, Peach Mag and more. She currently lives in the Midwest and answers research questions in an academic library.