by Sprout Conner

The strangers screaming
at us in the restaurant know
that their words are fermented
honeysuckle blooms stuck
to the roof of our mouths; a cloying
petal that dries to our tongues.

This is not the first dining room table
we have prostrated ourselves across,
and slurs are overcooked noodles
flung against our refrigerator door.

The man calling
to us from across the street
thinks that he is a beacon
of clean white desire; an unsoiled
tablecloth brittle with bleach.

We are the reaching hands,
the overturned gravy boat,
and the greasy stain it leaves.

Sprout Conner is a current undergraduate in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Colorado Denver. Their work has been previously published in Quarto Magazine and Claudius Speaks. Motherbird, Sprout’s first poetry collection, can be found on Amazon.