Carly Rae Zent is copy editor of educational materials from Tampa, Florida. She is a graduate of Florida State University and previously published in subTerrain

2 poems by Carly Rae Zent

145/100,000 Poems to Write

 

Lack of appetite is a sign of dying,

and I have seen it myself, my

grandfather in his carved maple bed,

pecking at a spoon of yogurt held out

to him, like a baby bird with a soft,

wrinkled, newborn beak. So I am

young and just lying around blurry

eyed and my stomach feels wringed

like a mop. I cannot eat besides a sip

of butternut squash soup that my

brother has shoved at me across

the counter. He is a future sous chef,

and he can always eat. He tells me I

am too weak. I tell him: I am too

distracted, chewing is so inconvenient,

sometimes I just spit it out not because

it's gross, but because imagining all

that food swirling in my mouth, slipping

 

down my throat just makes me gag.

I promise I don't have an eating disorder;

I have an awareness disorder, an

awareness of how - and I calculated this -

I only have time to read 3,567 more

books in this life. Only 40 more vacations,

if I can afford it. 6,009 more movies.

18,250 more opportunities to dream.

36,520 more albums of music.

I will only fall in love 1 or 2 more times

if I am lucky. How can anyone sit around

eating soup, knowing this? He says:

 

I only have 2,673 bowls of soup left to eat,

and he takes my bowl and he slides

all the viscous orange into his mouth.

The R Day of the Week

 

Thursdays make me think of father.

A ring, and an answer, calling across

the state of Massachusetts,

the state of the Piping Polver,

and of Plymouth Rock,

and of the state of mind called

"thinking of your father on Thursdays

when he calls."

 

He will call on the way home from work,

and inevitably he will pass through

the tunnel on Jefferson St. which I am

familiar with, and so Thursdays make

me think of Jefferson St. and of father's voice

getting crackly and being cut off, a few words

at a time, until his sentence is really

just a game of Mad Libs.

 

"This week your sister [verb]

and I think she's very [emotion] about it.

Give her a [noun] soon. Also, she

got a new pet [animal] to go with the [number]

other pets she has."

 

I like to think my sister needs a high-five

because she won an award for maintaining

a zoo with thousands of exotic animals, but really

I think she got a fifth hamster to fill

the void of her latest ex-boyfriend.

 

Thursdays also make me think of the radio

because my friend DJs on Thursdays, and I

tell my father about this after he has passed

through the tunnel. I tell him he should

listen to Blouse and Panda Bear, because

my friend played them both this week.

 

Blue and pink combined in a hovering

cloud are the colors that

make up Thursdays,

according to some synesthetes.

I think vikings named Thursday

after a god I hate that the abbreviation for

Thursday is "R" and it makes no sense to me

I scratch it out on class syllabi.

 

I tell my father this last thing, and he says he

doesn't want to take up more of my

time so he must go, which I once thought

was very sweet of him but I have since

discovered is a polite way of ending a phone

conversation when you are bored