Everything sharps and shrills
me: the day’s insistent, high-pitched yaps
as she clips room to room; her cats’
claws on skin when fur fails
to attend; the list
of things I’ll fail
to finish this week or next; the muscle
along my calendar’s ridge, pinch
in its neck, suspension
of disbelief, critical voice between the temples,
echo from some
strained event, the throbbing squares, like swollen
gums, the crystal numbers that slip from great heights
off its thick-thumbed tongue.
Wendy Vardaman (website) lives in Madison, Wisconsin and is the author of Obstructed View (Fireweed Press). She works for The Young Shakespeare Players, a children’s theater company, co-edits Verse Wisconsin, and does not own a car.