PANHANDLE, GULF by Cady Vishniac


by Cady Vishniac

I forget to butter the skillet, so my egg spreads
…….like pond scum, and it’s filmy and stuck, and the smoke alarm
goes off, and it rings in my head the way gunshots do,
…….and I’m parched and sorry, so I pull the sun from my hair
in penance, and I slap my face with my largest ring turned inward, and I touch
…….the skillet with the tip of my thumb, and I wait
for the blister, and that’s the place the black widow bit me
…….in preschool, so I had to go in the ambulance, so I had to get the shots
that scared me, so my father kissed it better, but even now
…….my hand catches fire when I think about spiders,
and I toss my breakfast in the sink, and my kitchen fills
…….with steam, and it’s those muggy days in Houston, so I worry
someone might peek in the window, see me dancing barefoot
…….on the linoleum, shrieking for help but not wanting any.


Cady Vishniac’s poems have appeared in Sugar House Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and Verse Daily. Her stories have won prizes at New Letters, Mid-American Review, and New Millennium Writings. She’s earning her MFA at The Ohio State University, where she is an associate fiction editor for The Journal. She’s also fiction editor for Reservoir, and reads for Raleigh Review.

Image credit: Matthew Murdoch on Flickr


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