“Between My Fingers” by Kay Bess

Goddamn it, I miss my cigarettes.
I miss the light up,
the first inhale…
I miss ‘em like my worst best girl friend,
you know…
the friend
you tell everything to
who cheers you on
in your darkness.
The kind you call when you’re shitfaced
because you lost the part you were born for,
who holds your hair back
while the room spins and you wretch at the toilet.

The kind who takes your favorite suede jacket from the ‘70’s
without asking,
the tobacco brown one with fringe on the sleeves,
and then spills red wine or some fucking shit on it,
like she could replace it in a minute
with a cheap crap knock-off from Target.

Ya, she’s the cat who leaps up on your newborn’s chest,
lays there quiet for a while, then steals his breath
while you’re making cookies in the kitchen.
The kind who fucks your husband when you’re out of town,
then borrows your brand new panties
before she leaves through the front door in broad daylight.

She feels good,
in a comfortable kind of way,
if for no other reason
than you’ve known her,
held her there between your fingers and inhaled her,
your whole life.

And even though she does all this awful shit to you,
she’ll always be your friend.
She’ll even make your bed for you,
you know…
so you can lie in it.

Kay Bess

© 2011

(anonymous photo)

“Gramma Barbara’s Pie” by Candice Rosales



Barb is out of the pie-making business.

I am broken and disjunct struck dumb
in cold kitchen with no heart.
Oh, Barb.
The spot on tart-sweet of her apple
won’t greet the burnished maples.
Not this fall.
No taut crusts cut and rolled in dusky
morning hours while we slept
rock-like cranking out
nutmeg and clove-addled dreams.
under warm blankets of cold comfort.
crisco cans and pyrex tins marked
sunday like a waxing crescent.
What now, Barb?
I lack the exactitude to
carry on your craft.
My pumpkin curdles to repellent chunks.
My crust is stubborn and overworked.
My graceless fingers rip and poke
what you coaxed instantly to perfection.
The sweetness you dotted and dusted
is gone.
And I’d trade anything at all
for one more bite.
© 2010