Ann Ward is a writer and editor. She is the winner of the 2017 Daniel & Merrily Glosband Poetry Prize and the 2016 Delaney Fellowship in Fiction. Her work has appeared most recently in No Tokens, Minola Review, Powder Keg, and This Magazine. You can find her eating cold borscht at annward.ca.
This poem was longlisted for the 2018 Peach Gold in Poetry with guest judge Morgan Parker.
by Ann Ward
I can see their hands, the table, the condiments
there are two people I have to remember not to hug in public
in case we catch and our security tag hearts
bleed yellow ink across our sweatshirts
once we were like Ross and Rachel having sex in the planetarium
now I keep forgetting my ice cream tubs at people's houses
melting in coat piles
and he’s too nervous to bring me home
or he had second thoughts after the first good ones
I say come on let's go Penn is here from Penn and Teller
but he respects a good bullet in the teeth
I used to make out with everyone
I'd say Leanne your lip ring feels so good!
and she'd say great!
tipping a paper plate to my mouth to drink what’s left
praying for peanut butter popsicles and heat waves
in the kitchen Penn is filling a trash bag with helium
trying to blind us with his iPhone flashlight
when I see you next don’t mention
that red coat in a box at the bar
the strawberry ice cream on your floor
running into you is like
finding clean teeth in dirt