Heavy Petting in Cooper City, FL

by Gregory Sherl

Gregory Sherl

We’re so young I still look out the window when you cry.
Still, this is how it starts: there is tongue kissing before baby
names. There is forgetting how to sleep alone before
baby names. Sometimes your thighs are too sweaty to hold
before baby names. Lately everything falls right out of me:
a wave having a seizure while someone tries to learn how to surf.
In this poem we are in bed because everyone can guess why.
We are in bed and I say Your tongue is the coldest tap. That is a lie.
You are so fucking warm. You are an electric blanket we keep next
to the icebox. In bed I say You are the equivalent of seven brownies.
You say Prove it. So this is what I do: I bake the sun up.
We forgot to draw the blinds, so I bake the sun back down.
It is pitch black, so I bake some lightning bugs and tie them
to my chest hair. While I bake, you go into the other room and send me
dirty text messages with descriptions of your back spread out like a speedway.
I have to go into the icebox to cool off. I don’t turn on the electric blanket.
My blood is milk, skim, thin enough to reach my toes. I have shivered
in my sleep since at least eight years before we met.
There is a timer, and then the timer is done being a timer. I am done baking.
I hold the seven brownies in my lap while you drive us to the doctor’s
office. The doctor checks your blood pressure, feels for lumps. Then he checks
the brownies for lumps. I was smooth with the icing, and the doctor
is pleased. He puts his stethoscope to the seven brownies, says
Big breath now. The brownies puff out their chests like muffins.
They sigh like long distance runners. The doctor takes off his latex gloves.
He says Equivalent, like it was a category on Jeopardy! He says
Homologous, synonymous, identical, tantamount, indistinguishable.
The doctor looks at me. He wants to know if the brownies
came from a box. I tell him I picked them from the garden,
that I was turned on by how soft the soil felt between my toes.
He says And her? pointing at you. I tell him I keep an Easy Bake
Oven between the sheets.

Last updated October 17, 2022