Cynthia Arrieu-King
Against the Sight of People Eating Spaghetti with Red Sauce

The tomatoes all swim at an aquarium.

I volunteered there, I know their sleep cycles.

They move in a giant circle, slowly consuming

the color red as it passes through the tank.

I have not pointed out the three identical murals

of the women slurping spaghetti into their maws.

The tomato seeds fester in the giant bellies. O silent

guppies of produce. Who doesn’t love the sight

of tomato sauce? ask the French-Canadian girls.

Everyone stops to tap on the glass, but I won’t let them.

The bottom stitch frays out of a sock and it falls to spaghetti.

Anything could go on it, a clinging ragu of carrots.

A July song of metallic cicadas. The feathers

of red birds killed by icy bricks. Keep your eyes

on the aerator. Invent a simile that ends “like stones”

as my warm dry hands fit over your eyes.


Good Thursday

Not so much blue sunlight

crumpled, tossed, helpfulness

landed hard on every wire.

That no one could think

what season, what season

like a new pony locked behind

chain link in a neighborhood

you’ve walked all your life.

Yellow sunlight springs at girls

buying cake in plastic.

Panic button accidentally pushed,

the honks, this stall cozy,

wintery with stop sign ennui.

Go? A coroner asks for

dead oak leaves hurtling

when no one agrees. Gilt

went forward into the sprawl

a deep voice, the male

voice washing feet. That

unanswered notch in a pod.

You’d love to get on top

of a warm body and swim.

And note to self, the filament

fur behind the ear we jockey

towards: do seeds believe in

swimming, fucking, stammering

worry? No. This chartreuse

down coat halves its pod,

a chick pea rolls faint

out of a husk.  Full on confused,

or rabid doubtful, green floats

coming loud like a request

no one wanted to hear. The man

sits like a surprise in his

impeccable suit his blood-colored

boots, who knows where.


The pork bellies lie dormant in their cold locker. And out by the cuttings in silver tumblers, the measure’s red line being watched same as the rising heap of flour. What’s from the yard isn’t a forest proper, it isn’t a thought like one light yellow then yellow again. Caution in the meal, your happiness at being that person left in the kitchen late at night, pondering guest arrivals: holy-men, or clouds. A cook has no choice but to notice the house tended, his hands extended to a gate. He’s serious about the bacon, about the welcome being written large, about the wide spaces between people. He opens the door with a platter of twenty kinds of cake. To feed to the lions.