By Cat Dixon

Had I known the forecast, 
or seen the clouds on the horizon, 
I wouldn’t have made contact. 
I can’t interpret radar. In school, 
instead of science class, I weaved 
worlds in a notebook where fear 
reigned with its complicated 
cues and insidious hunger 
devouring all the paper.

He had spent time in the lab 
with the Bunsen burner and beaker;
hours in the classroom studying air flow. 
So when the moment came to experiment
and hypothesize, he had it pegged. 
I had to learn the lesson there
—shoulder to shoulder. Had I known 
the chemical clouds spewing 
from the table meant indifference, 
I wouldn’t have stayed. Now 
my taste buds are burnt off
 and at the sound of the word
“love” like him, I run. 

Cat Dixon (she/her) is the author of Eva and Too Heavy to Carry (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2016, 2014) and the chapbook, Table for Two (Poet’s Haven, 2019). Recent poems have appeared in LandLocked, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Abyss & Apex. She is a poetry editor at The Good Life Review.

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