Rebecca Hazelton

My Big Unsubtle Feelings


When you wake in the bathtub
                surrounded by ice
your first thought
        will be that you are a crushed mint leaf
                in the world’s largest julep

and I want to say I’m sorry
        I took your appendix
because I feared it would burst
                I fished out your spleen
to balance your humors
                                I stapled your stomach
                because I can’t bear to imagine
                                                you middle aged
                                                and paunchy
and I spooled your intestines
                round a crank
to whittle your middle
                the better to put my hands around.

Haha very funny
        you might say now help me
                                                get out

but I worried your calves
                                had ideas of leaving

so they are under the bed
        and your arms
                now hold me
                and never complain
or steal the covers

                                every morning
        I pet your hair
on my pillow
I pet your tongue
                I cover your eyes every night.

Rebecca Hazelton is the author of Fair Copy and Vow. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Southern Review, Boston Review, Best New Poets 2011, and Best American Poetry 2013 and 2015, and the Pushcart anthology.