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ADELAIDE Independent Bimonthly Literary Magazine / Revista Literária Independente Bimensal, New York / Lisboa, Online Edition  

 




 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

HONEYMOON
By Meg Eden Kuyatt

 

 

 

 


Preparing my Hair for the Wedding

 

In the kitchen, my fifth grade teacher
does my hair. She says, I’d kill
for hair as thick as yours, and from the way
she combs out my tangles, I can believe it.

In the living room, her husband sits
on the floor with a 12” tube TV,
watching what must be a soccer game
fizzling in and out of reception.

The room gives off the feeling
of a college apartment just emptied out
for summer. I remember now—growing up,
how we gave my old clothes to her daughter.

She’s plugged in the curlers, they look
exactly like my mother’s purple pink
Conair Hot Sticks, warming the kitchen
with the smell of burning plastic.

Once they’re done, she wraps my hair
around each curler, telling me stories
of the girls from my class who have gotten
married, how she did their hair.

She tells me that before she taught at my school,
one students called her a white bitch.
Her husband still won’t go to church with her.
Her daughter’s just moved out to go to college.
Fifth grade was the year I lived inside Pokémon
tapes. When did I ever think about my teacher,
coming home to her school salary:
to the loneliness even in marriage?

She takes the curls in bunches,
like freshly cut flowers. She pins them
into place, and I feel the pang of bobby pins
against my scalp. This is the trial run.

She leads me to the bathroom, carpeted
and incredibly blue, giving me a mirror.
I move it, trying to catch even a glimpse
of my back—It’s then I see myself.

 

 

 

 

 



Honeymoon

 

We drive through an industrial park
to get to the luau, where old men link arms
with girls in dime store mumus,

while their wives pose for pictures
next to tan men in thongs. Behind them, a sign says:
We are not responsible for any claim by reasons of fire.

The same middle-aged man keeps lining up
at the bar, as if there’s a magic number
of Blue Hawaiis that makes you forget something important.

The gift shop clerk sings that song
that was popular on the radio
ten years ago. Was it really that long ago?

Looking just above the tiki fence, we can see
the horizon of white tour bus roofs. So many people
who have saved their whole lives to be here

and we are in our twenties, talking over
the buffet pork sandwiches and jello
about where we might go next.

 

 

 

 

 


Gift

 

From the basement pantry shelf,
my mother pulls out a dead mink
in a ziplock bag, its white fur
falling out in generous clumps.

A gift from when she was a girl,
my mother tells me how her aunt
wrapped it around her neck & she felt
the dead of its body against her skin & cried.

She must’ve meant well, my mother says—
Probably meant to make me feel
extravagant. But we never really know
what kids are thinking, do we?

She weighs it in her hands, says,
It’s funny, how we keep these things—
the falling apart mink would probably
enjoy the relief of being discarded.

She asks me if I want it—she’s asked me
about so many things & I’m tired of lying
& saying yes. My mother died when I was
your age, she says but doesn’t say.

I know this won’t be the last thing
I inherit but do not want:
the bedroom downstairs, filled
with boxes I will never take.

 

 

 

 

 


Production Costs

 

In seventh grade during science class
we were talking about planets
when James Cochran asked me:

Do you know we all inadvertently consume
about seven pounds of insects in our lifetime?
(He became an accountant.)

If I consume so many insects, what other things
must I take in unknowingly as well:
years, compliments, calories, people’s good intentions—

How much of our lives are lost to sleep! Think of all
the poems that could be written! My mother’s pantry:
full of expired cans, waiting to be consumed.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Meg

Meg Eden's work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, RHINO and Gargoyle. She teaches creative writing at the University of Maryland. She has five poetry chapbooks, and her novel "Post-High School Reality Quest" is published with California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird Books. Find her online at www.megedenbooks.com or on Twitter at @ConfusedNarwhal.


 




 




 

 

 

     
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