Today I was Clumsy, so a Poem Happened

For whatever reason, I could not seem to stop spilling things today, and I hope my Venezuelan roommate enjoyed his English lesson for the day on how to swear (loudly, thoroughly, consistently). For whatever reason, after my dinner ended up on the floor, I sat down to write a poem about it instead of the lesson plan that I should have been working on. I haven’t been very good about keeping in practice with poetry since my band is (I think) no more, so it was nice to start to get back into it.

The first thing to spill today was the morning’s coffee:
unraveled from the sheets that fill the nooks and crannies
of this new double bed,
it fell from the mold of a mug’s grasp
to the flatness
pressed between gravity and open space.

To sleep on your stomach is healthier, I hear,
to lift your spine to cold night air on the offering
of your lungs’ insistence that they are alive.
A lifelong side-sleeper,
I am letting my limbs crawl into the corners
that this square mattress offers.
Twin rectangle dimensions
have always asked me to fill them
with the lumps of my flesh;
I find myself falling flat into this new life now where

I spilled the milk from my cereal onto the floor
quickly after the coffee incident.
This goddamn breakfast is in my bed,
it is on the floor,
in the grout,
in the pores of a sponge,
(later) kissing the cold spoon against my lips,
it is in my stomach.

To French kiss is to fill
cavities,
to let the heavy muscle of your speech crawl outside
of its own cave into
the stalactites and mites of waiting teeth. This French bed
has but one visitor, small and lost in its space.
Why, I wonder, have I crawled away from America
into these jaws of abroad,
but to fill air
with the bragging undertones of past experience
(perhaps while pressing spine into the warmth of a stomach,
my lungs keeping tempo with life
stacked one on top of the other, like always)?

I bookended today with a dinner of spilled rice
all across the kitchen floor,
newly cleaned. Packed so close together just a moment ago,
they look so small when they are unraveled
as a collection of ones
across the nooks and crannies of this space.

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