I dreamt I cooked us dinner last night and now
breakfast this morning, never full
(and never fair), even when snacking on kisses throughout the night,
drinking from her breath instead of from the ever-present glass of water on her nightstand.

Her hip is a plow, she an ox, the
bone meets mine and sows skin, leaves
a memory.
A baby doll lies in the corner,
watching us create her.

I’m cooking breakfast and explaining cultural hegemony, feeding her
before she has to leave for work, my
mouth filled with kisses and stomach emptying of tequila, knowing
it will never quite be.

Other people indulge in their existence nearby,
being loud and breathing too, a voice (two voices)
vibrating through old plaster, (sheetrock I could’ve put up better myself).
The mirage dissipates: when it
rings it’s for you, when it
buzzes it’s for you, it’s empty                (it’s full)
and it’s for you. Such an ache I’d profess to hate instead of
call home, quiet as it is, wanton as it wants.

—Daniella Cherner

illustration by Happy Burbeck

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