With an unsteady hand I pour
orange juice into a tall periwinkle glass
while the refrigerator door swings open
too far, banging into the bathroom door
The white linoleum floor feels as slippery
as the space between me
and the hurried dinner you’re eating,
although it doesn’t expand far enough. Maybe
if each painted square spanned a
mile of stone and clay and terror,
and its emptiness was not muted by
this morning’s ketchup spill and tracked-in
sand, it could.
I retreat upstairs. Sitting on the couch, I read
The Language Instinct listlessly,
losing certainty in the strength of my own language
at the end of all this distance.
If it could break the glass around me
and the glass around you,
and it could make it back down the steps into that
room so occupied with you,
over your nearness.
Alina Borger writes and teaches in Iowa City, IA. Her work has appeared most recently in The Mom Egg Review, Stirring, and Softblow. Her chapbook, Tuesday’s Children is forthcoming from Hermeneutic Chaos Press. You can find her cheering for soccer matches between her boys, curling up with a book and a mug of tea, or online at www.alinaborger.com.