I am a fish
that rolls in the sand.
In the short dress
that my mother never taught me
how to wear, my mouth
is gasping in wet circles.
Like someone begging
to be kissed.
To keep us from dying
she made us fudge.
Black pitch on wooden spoons.
The pan was old like everything
we had. Not antiques,
nice once and now beautiful,
brushed with patinas of pipe smoke
and generations of hands moving and resting.
It was all crap from the start.
Our whole lives full of chips
and dirty cracks. But the fudge,
It was how we knew that luxury was real.
Out on the ocean’s lip now,
all I know how to do
is hate being poor
and wipe tears away with dollars.
The sand is wedged in like a thong,
but I still stand sideways,
trying to look attractive. This sea creature
without scales, an air spout, or a way to swim.
With naugahyde and linoleum ingrained
in the soles of my feet,
it is easier to walk forever
without being burned.
C.L. Sostarich hones the art of procrastination in the Pennsylvania mountains. She has been the editor of two literary magazines, one of which is now a part of a permanent collection at Brown University. He works have been published in a number of journals and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by The Journal of New Jersey Poets.