[If you said kitchen and meant harden and then if you walked out back and forgot]

by Kallie Falandays

If you said kitchen and meant harden and then if you walked out back and forgot
to look at the sky                   what if all of the boys you kissed were just hungry?
What if you fed them skin and so, when they said tree, you heard hollow.
What if you were hungry and so you walked around with your hands out
saying children, bricks, light bulbs:
something to remember, to carry, to leave behind.
And then, when all of the strangers on the bus turned to you at once
and said things like postage, letterbox, faucet.
If everyone knew what you meant, you wouldn’t have to say
your lips are fluttering porcelain, or even my eyes burn like 10,000 fire escapes breaking.
If, when you turned to everyone and said puree, timber, rustling,
they all looked to the west and nodded their heads.

Kallie is the author of Dovetail Down the House (forthcoming from Burnside Review). You can read her work in PANK, Black Warrior Review, Puerto del Sol, Tupelo Quarterly, and elsewhere. She runs Tell Tell Poetry.