Fall 2016 (Volume 20, Issue II): 20th Anniversary Issue
KAYLIE ANNE JOHNSON
MY HEART IS A KITCHEN TIMER
Sometimes a tennis ball is just a mossy rock when you pick it up.
Sometimes the dead rabbit in the road
really looks like your cat,
and it could be your cat,
who’s known for bolting out doors
to roll in asphalt sun.
Your sock feels like a rock when it bunches up
in your shoe
and sometimes you walk behind a person
whose laughter sounds like crying.
My fingertips look soft until
I wipe under my eye and scratch skin.
My dog’s hobby was table scraps
until her kidneys ran away,
bolted out the door and rolled in the sun.
Sometimes a tree doesn’t look so tall
until you’re at the top and crying
covered in sap and ants,
and there’s a ‘for sale’ sign in the tree
put there by my brother
who thought that a house was only for sale
if a sign was in the yard.
Sometimes a cherry tree blooms in the fall
forgetting that it’s supposed to be dying
like the oak tree,
the browning grass.
My grandpa says all wine tastes the same
and leaves his on the counter
which is weird because if all wine is the same
then it shouldn’t make a difference where it sits.
Sometimes your heart swishes your blood
and ripens sticky and thick
like wine on the counter.
My heart is a kitchen timer
shaped like a chicken,
it ticks against my ribs
and shakes my cactus in its pot.
Sometimes you forget that your house talks to you
at night when it’s settling,
it ticks in my chicken timer chest
reminding me that I am not settled.