You’re the day after Tuesday, before eternity.
You’re the day we ran out of tomatoes
and used tiny packets of ketchup instead.
You are salt, no salt, too much salt, a hangover.
You hold the breath of an abandoned cave.
Sometimes you surprise me with your
aurora borealis and I’ll pull over to watch you;
I’ll wait in the dark shivering fields of you.
But mostly, not. My students don’t care for you
or your lessons from the life of a minor god.
Can you hit the high C in our anthem?
Can you bench press a national disaster?
I fear for you, Wednesday. Your papers
are never in order. Your boots track in mud.
You’re the day I realized I didn’t even like him,
and the day I still said yes, yes, yes.
Sometimes I think you and I should elope,
and leave this house of cards to shuffle itself.
You are love, no love, too much love, a cuckold.
You are the loneliest of the three bears, hoping
to come home and find someone in your bed.
Sandra Beasley is the author of three poetry collections—Count the Waves, I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling, winner of the New Issues Poetry Prize—as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir that doubles as a cultural history of food allergies. In 2018 she edited Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Honors for her work include a 2015 NEA fellowship, the Center for Book Arts Chapbook Prize, the Friends of Literature Prize from the Poetry Foundation, the Maureen Egen Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, the Elinor Benedict Poetry Prize from Passages North, fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and the Millay-Colony, and four DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowships. Her poems have been featured by Best American Poetry, Verse Daily, and Best New Poets. She lives in Washington, DC, and teaches in the University of Tampa low-residency MFA program. (updated 4/2019)