Sunday May 26

WilkinsonCaki Caki Wilkinson is the author of the poetry collections Circles Where the Head Should Be (UNT Press, 2011), which won the Vassar Miller Prize, and The Wynona Stone Poems (Persea, 2015), which won the Lexi Rudnitsky/Editor’s Choice Award. She lives in Memphis, TN, where she is an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Rhodes College.

Charm against Destruction

No Spring Break was a blast a bunch of us
chipped in together for a beach motel
we trashed the place we went bananas plus
I pierced my tongue so sue me lol

No I’m a total kitten literally
obsessed with well he’s not my boyfriend stacked
like cards and sweet as antifreeze but see
he’s cast some sort of spell I made a pact

to worry when I’m dead we blacked out drunk
and screwed in dunes pools bathrooms getting caught
the night I puked a daiquiri on his junk
his jeans the concrete everything he thought

he’d shot his wad I’m like relax it’s fine
it was hilarious I’m not a slut
I said it must’ve been another time
we had a knockdown drag-out over what

I don’t remember no one likes to lose
the sense they’re winning so for emphasis
we’re throwing swimsuits suntan lotion shoes
and cussing up a storm fuck you fuck this

when swear to god right then I start to quote
this poem I memorized back when I tried
in school the world will end this person wrote
in fire or ice except it’s come untied

my halter and he’s watching me like whoa
sunburnt a shade of bacon boobs bright white
just scream-reciting how I think I know
enough of hate I mean that’s funny right

Metaphysical Conceit

A problem of proportions, second chances:
how soon’s too late, and how long will it last,
a creature born of other circumstances?
Recorded, tagged, reintroduced—but past
its prime, we say, sorry to see it go.
We scan the bigger picture, try to take
some inkling of an insight, apropos
of nothing, which is all we need to make
mountains of molehills. Though our microscopes
might help to isolate the underlying
patterns (less scientific minds say “tropes”)
in failed advances, soon enough we’re trying
becomes we tried, the boom of either/or.
Our love? He said “flea.” I said “dinosaur.”