• 5th Wall Press

Determiners

He wonders how I can sing

about coffee grounds.

Drown the negative out

like an unnamed ghost

inside a Mason jar—

those voodoo things.


Those citrulline stones,

that tan candle.

I try to teach determiners

using space and place

when I don't even get it.


He asks about my day.

I'm doing just great.

Bills I can't pay

and new mascara

and medication

and masturbation

and all those ands

or these?


Like getting phone calls about a felony.

This is your last chance.

But it's all a lie.

And, darling, do I need to do this?

That?

Those things he never listed

saying I need to listen.

When I try,

with pen in hand,

taking notes on his misfortunes

like the full ashtray

and the hair in the sink.


I really try.

I'm two seconds from

blowing my head off

each time he says

I'm lazy

or my class questions

my abilities.


Then there's the coffee pot

and dishes in the sink

and overflow in the garbage.

His, hers, does it matter?

Always the lessons.


I could crack open every sentence

and see the determiners,

mainly his.

Many, most, much.

Clarify instead of dramatize.


I question everything

despite reality

and logic.

Do you love me still?

A little, some, enough.


Kathrine Yets

St. Francis, WI



17 views