Somewhere between the sugar or milk

I can’t remember,

The word children falls from my mouth

And in some sweeping tectonic clash

An ice age slips between my fingers

That marks the drift

Between your evolution and mine,

And in a melting glacier

Emerges a vestigial reflex—

Your knee hits the table

Knocking over the creamer

And I reach to dab it up

With the napkin in my lap,

Mopping the mess

Of spilled sweet talk—

My gut growls: this isn’t a match.

I’ll start again

How have you been /

How has your stomach been /

How are you healing?

I answer all those for you, anyway—

And then ask a couple more times

As I throw my arms across the table

And clasp my hands to catch the conversation,

But your mouth just works around

A plate of eggs and bacon

And here, breaking bread

Hoping to reap fruits,

God, and other things

But harvest has passed

And my survival instincts

Have eroded / leftover thoughts

Like remains in fossilized earth,

Something to unbury,

Something to pass to your children

But you ask for the check

And pass it to me.

Thumbnail by Olivia Abeyta / North by Northwestern