by Kelsey Richey

After the Birds & the Bees

Grocery cart wheels shudder before stopping, cry out a little
I weave my fingers in & out of mama’s while we browse
through produce & soup cans, making our way
to the unspoken end–The Meat Section.
Where the raw reds & browns of flesh breathe
like spring buds–beautiful, doomed to bloom into leaves.
In the middle of the meats like a concrete crypt
angelic & hauntingly other is The Live Lobster Tank.

Impossibly full of glass-clear water, the tank floor moves
bodies the color of embers like a pulse.
I want to touch them. Where’s the door?
Both hands pressed to glass I wonder
what it would feel like to move someone’s body under mine like that
to wrap my legs around someone’s spine like that
–Unnatural blue cuffs their claws & I wonder why

anyone would keep them from holding hands.
Later that week, mama feeds me a heap of soft white meat
shelled in burning red, next to a butter-filled ramekin.
I suck my fingers clean.
May I have some more​–

Lobster,​ mama says

I say, ​Never mind


Kelsey Richey is a poet living in Indiana. Her work is published in “Field: A Journal of Arts & Sciences” and “Manuscripts.”
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