Katelyn Kiley is an MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she is the 2012-2013 Levis Fellow.
If we are restless that must mean we're young oh we the most beautiful—
Up late detailing your next visit as if time weren't endlessly
unspooling. We make the most beautiful plans:
garlic & cilantro & red meat, horror films, splashes
of bourbon & just one more please while we'll wait to greet
the sun. My front porch is being torn down & rebuilt—
mornings, I wake to power tools pulsing through the walls
like a dentist drilling teeth, how even numbed, the vibrations
echo inside your skull. The man in the bar tilted his head
oddly, so I asked: both ears, do they hear?
& he flipped through his phone to find the photos they took
after the surgery—an s-shaped suture on the right half
of his skull where they tried to cut the tumor out,
& couldn't. People like that! Just going to bars! I tell you,
but you aren't impressed. Only tragedy, working its bony fingers
under one more man's skin like slipping the shell
off a hardboiled egg. Take all of Thanksgiving week off,
you say. Let's go to Miami. You mean it as much as you mean
anything, which is to say: completely & not at all.