Knowing the Mouse Might One Day Leave Its Hole and Get the Cheese…It Fills You with Determination

I think I wanted it to be weirder than
the sun wouldn’t look at me
& so I dreaded every dark morning.

Hoped for a goat bone,
ichor-whorled; or henbane
snuck among my purple-peas.

No—just some dumb heliotrope,
me. Good for a warm licking,
like any old crocus.

I’ve been all my biggest sads
drunk or in February—
either way every tree jabs

its witch-chin at me, saying
I feel you, sister. I, too,
have let a mushroom

make a campground of me
& have never washed
the butter dish.

The night is most of the day.
Dew ornates the laundromat.
I get so used to swallowing tonic

—until, like
a tongue finding new tooth
in its field of gum, I begin to

notice I am

beginning to notice.

My neighbor’s many windchimes.
The lake’s new brew. My effortful

posture, each vertebra
lofted on a glad guild
of fists—

I’ll quit
hustling the sun for what it knows how to give.

But not yet. O,
scrum of thunder
on the horizon.

Shed a little more daytime
on my gills here, and here.

J. Bailey Hutchinson

Twitter: @jbaileyhutch
Instagram: @ohbailey

Screenshot from Undertale by Toby Fox, 2015Screenshot from Undertale by Toby Fox, 2015

Up next Poem: "Passes to His Reward" by William Fargason Erasure of my third-great grandfather’s obituary, published in the Henry County Weekly on November 27, 1903 he breathed his Poem: Untitled by Jeremy Boyd build that uselessness big and intricate so fine and deep that scale of witness is broken by balance there will be concrete for thee end inbedded
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