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