ONCE YOU KNOW A THING EXISTS
Mama, what if I’m just another version
of you? What if we’re all just fucked up
versions of the original beast?
Because I want to be my own beast, I don’t know
how to make mămăligă like you do.
I don’t know how to not add butter and salt.
Don’t you see? Half of me is Americancă
I’m a piece of corn between two tight teeth.
Here the wanderer only goes in circles
and hands are always dried out from
scrubbing the world’s sinks, turned
hard and tight like ribbons of old dead snakes.
Bring a gift no matter what and always
take your shoes off in the house, says Mama.
The clocks are all wrong again, says the sun
to the moon, If you listen, I’ll tell you when.
You make mămăligă like this: boil water
then add cornmeal. The sun says, Start now you
simple beast. Can’t you see the world is hungry?
If you spend afternoons spinning your fingers
around the knob of an old radio, you might
accidentally tune in to the voice of the
original beast. You’ll wipe your hands clean
of your thoughts a thousand times, you’ll
rub all the aprons into threads tryingto figure out why the voice sounds so familiar.
ABOUT THE POET
Tamara L. Panici’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prelude, Likely Red, Carbon Culture Review, Riggwelter, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the 2018 River Styx Microfiction Contest and has been chosen to attend the Frost Place Conference on Poetry. You can find her on Twitter @tlpanici.
ABOUT SUGAR HOUSE REVIEW
We’ve loved reading the work that we’ve published (clearly), so now we want an opportunity to better hear our contributors. We will feature an audio recording of a poem from one of our seven issues, read by the poet and updated every couple of weeks. This an open invitation to all contributors from any of our issues, we were delighted to print your work, now we’re eager to hear it.
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