Kingdom of Crumpets and Narcissism
At last, the honey in your head
is boiling and your murky heart
shoots fire petals into the ashtray.
They don’t tell you this in school:
you can find someone to tell you
anything you want, purple clouds
of acid will storm over the lake,
cautious flecks of jelly will invade
my barren pantry, white tigers
will parade in my shower
and tell me to fuck off. I’ve
been thinking about naming
our dog narcolepsy. I’ve been
thinking of filming a documentary
concerning the tiny pianist
living inside my ribcage,
that kingdom of crumpets
and lemon bars and narcissism.
What we have left without our secrets
bits of sweet venom, blackberry and bread.
When I ride my bike for punishment, you
do not even watch me go. The smell of bleach,
Perugia, pomegranates, none of these things
are capable of neglect, but I’m going
to be honest, my tongue is stupid. My heart
isn’t. I know the beginning of mercy is trauma.
Caleb Nelson is a poet living in the upper peninsula of Michigan. He is a Master of Fine Arts Poetry Candidate at Northern Michigan University, and Associate Poetry Editor of Passages North. His work is forthcoming in Crab Fat Literary Magazine, Stoneboat, Prick of the Spindle, and Cardinal Sins.