Dinner Guests at the Country House
Bear in my kitchen consumes porridge and Chianti. Season of drought drove him inside. Yes,
he breaks a chair, naps. Drunk fat-bellied guest like so many table companions.
Nature lover, I’ve supped with spiders, ticks, squirrels, coyotes, boys with firearms. One I met at a church
bazaar and he arrived empty-handed and ate with his hands: weasel. Trash-mongers like the raccoon
are best for Holiday Leftover Surprise. Daily I serve fresh delicacies from the garden to buck and doe.
Girlfriend, you beheaded my annuals.
This new beast with paw between my legs requires very morsel. He tosses rice from cupboard, flour
from canister and dried peas from my cellar. A National Park Service ranger arrives with stun gun.
In the hot seat, I offer a canapé for the road. He says, In the proper
dosage—ohm or ampere—electricity is tonic, bread-and-butter.
Each time I’ve been to Joy it rains.
One day while riding her bicycle the girl hit a curb and rear-ended Compassion. He brushed off her knees and rethreaded chain to cog.
In the language of Commonsense, she will seize the hand of the stranger as they meet Derision head-on.
If I ever appear before Recognition, I hope I have the grace to introduce myself. Social skills at times befuddle me.
On the train to Acceptance, a couple sat opposite us: young man with no hands and his companion. She opened soda, candy bar, wallet for money. With two stubby pinschers, he fed Ebullience.
Lost in the woods after sunset, she panics and steps from the path. Chance screeches from a black gum to reveal necessary foothold.
He goes to a New Year’s Eve party and Anguish greets him with a paté kiss.
Evil, I’m afraid, will one day appear at my door, twenty-one years later.
In a state of Transcendence, she takes the escalator down to parking level C and finds Dissolution in her two-door hatchback.
My six-month-old discovers his feet and promptly puts Sorrow dirty from the sandbox into in his mouth.
There are words I don’t repeat in public: Adam’s Apple, NATO, Cimson, Empathy.
Tina Egnoski’s work of poetry and fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals, including Backwards City Review, Cimarron Review, Folio and Louisville Review. She is the author of two books, In the Time of the Feast of Flowers (Texas Review Press, 2012) and Perishables (Black Lawrence Press, 2010).