What My Father Should Have Said
Get out. Look at the moon,
your lucky red penny. One day the world
will know you by your footsteps, so cover them.
I hate the sound of airplanes napping on tarmacs
like glistening bulls nose-deep in dust. Your mother was
a salmon scooped for roe. Sometimes I wonder if
my brother died when the car struck him or if he slept there
sucking on night and salt. Too many ways out
leave the room without walls.
What My Mother Should Have Said
Sadness is a fat crab
trading one shell for the next,
leaving hulls to litter the shore
or be broken into sand.
We carve ourselves open,
creating caves in our chest
just the right size for a blue claw
to crack wide and shuffle in.
Whittle yourself a spear,
sharp and ancient, your head
a point worth making,
slight and angry, a broken limb.
But a spear is only a tool
and cannot guard itself.
The crab will come and take
what is owed. Each home
growing smaller by the hour.
Because the University Blasts Budget Tips to Faculty and Students:
beans stretch meals and stomachs, weeks
mapped out in freezer bags, coupons collected
like scripture, like spells, like gris-gris
warding off hunger. As if we weren’t
raised on Scrimp and mastering in Save.
As if our mothers never dried jeans
on the oven door or kept coffee cans of fat
to flavor the kitchen. It is only all of us who know
the twang of tins popped open with butter knives,
Metro rides to bread bins, expiration dates a suggestion.
Planning meals substitutes a Meal Plan!
while bagels go for double digits in the commons.
They hear the keening of our bellies between classes,
a chorus of frogs to lecture on the merit of webbed toes.
About the Writer
Katelyn Delvaux works as an adjunct English instructor in St. Louis, MO and serves on the poetry staff for Red Bridge Press. She was the recipient of Wichita State University’s Poetry Fellowship (2013) and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar (2016). As the daughter of sailors, Katelyn has spent her life crisscrossing the country in search of better tides. Her most recent publications and interviews may be found in Driftwood Press, Barn Owl Review, Off the Coast, and Slice magazine.