by a contributor

Yve Miller

I sat at the dinner table, high
on cocaine, cracking a lobster,

listening to my father through his thick
scotch globe. I used to hate lobster lessons –

you’re missing a ton of meat –
Those how-to-crack-an-egg’s,

But that night I was grateful, saved
by the nutritional aspects of swimmerets,

by tamale-removal, by the glow of copper
in his glass. Saved from the glare of red eyelids

from a boyfriend across the table –
I was seven hours late coming home

that Saturday. I’d mistaken the sun
for a floodlight through the window.

I drove to Little Earthquakes on repeat
for fifty-seven miles, hands swapping

cigarettes and Starbursts stale from the
glove-box. I hadn’t eaten in two days.

It was like a nightmare in heaven,
father with his steel lobster crackers,

collared philosophy boyfriend sneering
through freckled eyelids, his pink face

shining under the chandelier, whistling
the can lid of his seventh Coors Light.

I ground my teeth, barely tasting the lobster,
its iodine meat. I only knew the mechanics

of drinking, the bibbed simulation of claws
crushing claws, big red hands and big red

cheeks, the white wine spill of chandelier
light, I knew the stinging Starburst sores,

array of artificial red tongue-stabs,
I knew the copper of Father’s
glass was winking at me.

Yve Miller has worked with horses, boat engines, and barbecue. She is a reviewer of books and teaches students how to form counterarguments and write from their heartbeat. She is going to night school to become somebody. Her first manuscript is in the works.

See also: Yve’s poem When I Was a Train Passenger.