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Portrait of Picture with Cereal


When you’re too smart to close your eyes, your face

slips behind the cereal box, this vitamin c mask of

daily requirements and decoder rings. No one hits me.

There is nothing to fear. And yet. And yet.


If I can’t hear myself chewing, no one else can either.

Breathe and swallow are the same mass of muscles,

only opposites. I pinch myself at the inside of my thigh

to remember not to cough.


My sister picks the pink stars from her bowl,

chews them to rainbow dust between her teeth.

Half inside the sink, a mother’s hymn sounds Sunday,

full of broken bubbles and plates turning like pages.


I know how much we each need to survive;

I’ve read it a million breakfast times. Hand to mouth

is a long way for a spoon to travel. Every day,

the silver bowl of it carries me the world.




NOTES: I started another poem based on the prompt, and then, ahem, promptly threw it out for being a million things I didn’t want it to be. This is try #2. I like it much more, although as with most drafts, I have no idea what I’m attempting to say.

Read today’s prompt by Jeremy Edwards (as well as the inspiration beyond poem-a-day) over at Not Without Poetry. My goal is to write a poem each day in less than 20 minutes, and without additional revision beyond the writing experience.