By Katherine Riegel
Do you sometimes
fold the forested heart you’re dying
to show into an origami crane
and cage it
in your fingers?
Do you ever want
to grab on to your friends’ retreating
palms and beg them to sing, one
more time, the songs that made you
love them? What do you think of
when you’re driving under the stars
sipping the outside air to stay awake?
Do you have a different smile
for the memories of summer, of new
sneakers, kites almost
too strong to hold? How many
times have you said no when you
really wanted to say yes? If I offered
a bite of the perfect strawberry cream
delight, would you take it? And after,
alone in your cold kitchen,
would you think of how your refusal
gave me one more mouthful
of pleasure, one more suck
and melt of sweetness, and would that
thought make you sigh
all the way down into the leafy dark?
Katherine Riegel is the author of Love Songs from the End of the World (Main Street Rag 2019), the chapbook Letters to Colin Firth, and two more books of poetry. Her work has appeared in Carve, The Gettysburg Review, One, Poets.org, SWWIM, and elsewhere. She is co-founder and managing editor of Sweet Lit, and teaches independent online classes in poetry and creative nonfiction. Find her at katherineriegel.com.