By Kendra L. Tanacea
Carving a turkey, basted by his ex-wife, around a table
in this fall night. Children, dog at hearth.
Alone in your flat, loneliness settles in the chest:
phlegm. Dark meat sitting in watery gravy.
You’re home, while the man you sleep with clears
his ex-wife’s plate. I mean, she’s there in his house,
the one you’ve been naked in, wandering the kitchen,
looking for a snack in the shadow of Mount Tam.
It’s a cold place. Even his dog barks when you kiss,
and you are what you are: a stranger in a family’s home.
You walked yourself stupid today, to the ocean and back,
hoping to lose yourself in the people carrying yams
and pecan pies from their cars to front doors. You want
to stop imagining the scene, the setting and clearing,
the dumb domesticity of it all, scraps to the dog,
playing Pictionary, renting a movie. You think,
this is what I was meant to be: a sorry animal
aggravating her own wound. This persistent cough:
jealousy. Every ugly thing gathered into a cornucopia
of grievances: Thanksgiving.
Kendra Tanacea, an attorney in San Francisco, holds a BA in English from Wellesley College and an MFA in writing and literature from Bennington College. Her collection of poetry, A Filament Burns in Blue Degrees, was a semifinalist for the Washington Prize and a finalist for the Idaho Prize for Poetry, and will be published by Lost Horse Press in early 2017. Kendra’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 5AM, Rattle, El Portal, Moon City Review, The Coachella Review, Stickman Review, Juked, Barely South Review, and Inscape, among others. Visit her online at kendratanacea.com.