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[ an unknown event ] causes: a resonating uproar, leading to my hands clutching tenuous promises, knuckles pallid with furious misunderstandings, burnt embers smeared with rusty tendons shifting at all the wrong moments. results: chilled coffee on a Sunday morning, undisturbed; oblique to the morning paper, unread; the left edge torn, aspirations unraveled.


post rain undialogue Coated with a green-eyed daze, open tidal waves arms that complemented yesterday’s torn newspaper trampled on the sidewalk and today’s weather (brutal snowfall prediction transformed into hopeful showers, double digits above zero, after my mouth formed the o of surprise, mirroring this morning’s cheery o’s) he sighed the birds trembled, I felt troubled to ask him about his day as he sat next to me because I wanted to ramble about how every contour I mentally draw is a caricature of reality; my mind resembles the scrambled eggs I can smell under his breath, yellow is tangy, tangible, like the handful of bananas on his grocery list yet any sort of attempt at communication is a deluge of wonders that expels out of my mouth like a drizzle. Is she talking to herself? he thought. She is not -- wait, I am not, my thoughts don’t say. He clutched his paper bag of groceries, tidal arms dampening bananas, droplets collecting, dripping quicker than my words and he

left.


a potluck’s social contract She held burning cinnamon under her nose, ​drift! she requested to the molecules that wove their perturbed eyebrows into crackling fibers, under her nose they drifted, mixing the bitter aftertaste of fire and clustered zest, like burnt store bought cake batter crusted with black remnants clinging like dew and mingling with a tired twenty something year old who just wanted a damn cake to bring to a pot luck though she’d rather stay at home al-one with burning cinnamon and droopy eyelids, maybe fling her eyes on the floor and become a surrealist painting--then she wouldn’t have to go through a social routine of unnecessary necessities, she wouldn’t need her vocal cords to rattle forced laughter, or “accidentally” brush hands with her neighbor, his skin was always in need of lotion and attention, or have a grimy taste in her mouth after another round of small talk, her ears wouldn’t have to hear her acquaintance’s dissonant voice, lugging a prolonged rigmarole of exaggerated luck at the grocery store, because finding a turkey on sale and whipping up a three course meal is a lot less pleasurable than burning cinnamon; She’d be in good company -she liked her nose much better anyways.


when they first met III. They forgot their first encounter -- he, head down and severed by the shards that cut into his life, accidentally ran into him on the intersection of wistfulness and chaos. Apologies were strewn hazardly on the floor, traffic ushered them onto their seemingly separate paths. So they went. II. A few years later and a few gray hairs more, they met again. It was a jazz bar, some new bass-piano-saxophone trio was playing, real original. He wanted to drink something heavy, as if his limbs didn’t weigh him down enough. The bartender was the man that he ran into in the street. He never noticed. They barely spoke, as the jazz trio was more delightful than either of them could have expected. He left a tip. I. They meet for the first time. Introductions were formal, clumsily juggled at a therapy group. His jokes were the pity-laughter-evoking sort of funny, or perhaps the fact that they weren’t funny was a part of the humor. Nevertheless, they both laughed perpetually, his bass chaotically complemented his impromptu chords. It was more melodious than the saxophonist's solo and surely warmer than any feeling they had felt before. Eventually they told this story to their children, of when they first met.


untitled Laughter lines crease the sky, clouds are cribs that fold rain, rocking paper airplanes into a crinkled lullaby. I call them fluid deer or elk, figures of wishful thinking and aimless conversations made in 70+ degree weather (picnic blanket optional); you call them suspended drops made of wax paper and waning sunlight -I always thought you were more poetic.


ambivalence

Ambivalence has slender hands, brows that furrowed at graceful angles in confusion, arms dotted with freckles eyes pitched with opposites blending at the wrong angles. I would know, I’ve spent much time with them. One day, they told me that they didn’t want to be with me anymore, we were too much alike and needed room to change, or perhaps let me change into some harmonious end of the spectrum be the modulating chord to an ode’s melody, stay at one end of the dichotomy and sink my delight into happiness rather than cynical worry. Yet I clung to them, convinced we were made of the same matter, rare, only shared between us, When I was certain, I was wrong.


An Uncommon Cold

Sifting through old books, the child sneezed as spit flies 4 mph as a fly does. Silence! He firmly berated, dying whispers run parallel to a perfect fourth. Eyes widened, hands tattered with green crayola marker, the child scuttles to find safety, far from the librarian’s (menacing glare) favorite copy of Wuthering Heights buried in his desk, adjacent to the cryptic love (notes to a ghost where he promised a future that was far from his grasp crinkles, smiles, freckles) for his old friend but the tea was cold and watery eyes accompanied his penultimate goodbye.

7 Poems by Katharine Sang  
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