Madeline Simms

Albeit, the pale winter
cloisters the paper body
inside a house, careful frames
chaste and avoidant on the ice outdoors,
the cold beds this flesh envelope
all the same. People naked for longer hours
under duvets and forgetting breath.
Winter skin rips because it touches
everything we can afford to touch
—betrayal like my kitchen sink, clogged
because I’ve been cleaning
all of my dishes—all of my meals
made with all of my hands.
Cleanliness, next to loneliness,
the swollen oatmeal
palmed and coming
up like the only response
to undercover touch.
Elbow grease in grease and
on hands and on knees
                   yes. oh yes
The kitchen sink has fucked me again
                                     And Oh my god
from behind, the boiling water
I poured down the sink
to drain the drain
frees like a perverted geiser,
spouting onto my back—
burning and for sure
blistering. An almost sun pain
poised against the long
winter window.
MADELINE SIMMS is from La Grange, IL and is an MFA student at the University of Alabama. Her work can be found in The Journal, The Tangerine, and others.