by Mollie Murtagh  
I try to read Coolidge but I cannot see the words, only a 
bright red airplane in a blue sky dotted with white clouds
flying over a sea—Italian— the propeller is tan,
it has green no white and green stripes on its nose—
               it flies in loops! It flies
               in loops. It flies with 
Do you understand the absolute misery 
one feels when they realize their favorite flower
is the one that blooms before a strawberry?
No one can get you a bouquet of those! no matter how 
much they love you.
Underneath my bed is a book with a red
rose crushed in between its pages—
I haven’t opened it since putting it there I am too 
scared. I never pressed flowers before, and what am I to do with it?
Does anything that comes from a plastic bottle
as clean and fresh as Palmolive soap? 
As if! I think 
as I scratch my nose with a freshly cleaned 
finger, nail painted in color “poisoned apple,” already chipping.
I feel like I am walking through steel glitter but it doesn’t stick to anything, 
not even my shoes, it’s just asphalt wet and shimmering 
from rain and flood lights. I cut through the station,
pungently poignant with pee, and find myself using the covered floor 
outlets as stepping stones. 
R. Padgett said italics add electricity to our words so here I am,
              italicizing my toes!