Epithelial

coffee cup

Epithelial

by Michele Habel-Coffey

My fingers trace the outlines of my cup…

Lingering circles, damp with coffee

And with dead epithelials- words unspoken

Sloughed off by the heat of the black liquid

Stimulated edges of nerves

Tactile truths

Give way to fresh, soft lips

And caffeinated hope

Charlotte Mew: Not for That City

Not for that city of the level sun,
     Its golden streets and glittering gates ablaze—
     The shadeless, sleepless city of white days,
White nights, or nights and days that are as one—
We weary, when all is said , all thought, all done.
     We strain our eyes beyond this dusk to see
     What, from the threshold of eternity
We shall step into. No, I think we shun
The splendour of that everlasting glare,
   The clamour of that never-ending song.
   And if for anything we greatly long,
It is for some remote and quiet stair
     Which winds to silence and a space for sleep
     Too sound for waking and for dreams too deep.

Boil: By Alicia Ostriker

Boil over—it’s what the nerves do,
Watch them seethe when stimulated,
Murmurs the man at the stove
To the one at the fridge—
Watch that electric impulse that finally makes them
Fume and fizz at either
Frayed end. If you could grasp a bundle
Of nerves in your fist like a jumper cable, and sense that
Python’s writhe, or a garden hose when the pressure’s
High and it wilfully weaves about
Trying its best to get away from you—
You’d see how nothing is passive,
We’re all—I mean from our elephant sun, ejaculant
Great-grandfather, cascading down
To weightless
Unstoppable neutrinos
Leaving their silvery trace
In vacuum chambers, in
Effervescent lines, twisted
Madly in our madhouse jackets,
Rules, laws, which we are seething to break
Though to rupture them might be of course to die,
Or, possibly,
To change:
Boil, it’s what water
And everything else teaches.