By Jake Price

The Zoo

A flamboyance of flamingos eat shrimp 
out of the hands of a zookeeper.
While the birds are distracted, 
someone else collects eggs.
The next day around breakfast time,
 the flamingos get their weekly wing clipping so they can’t fly away.
Pink yolks sizzle in a frying pan and 
get flipped sunny side up onto a plate

still life of divorce

the flies that loiter on
the brim, i wave, they come
again, i wave again.
you left the pears to rot
and now the apples bruise
when you so much as look
in their direction. dead
oranges squish and sour
and the decaying grapes
deflate, defeated goop.
i hate the wedding band
you ditched inside the fruit
bowl. diamond dipped in mold
i know its meaningless.
i hate the painting hung
above the kitchen sink
gold frame peppered with dust.
i know its meaningless.

You proposed and I said no

the sound of silence
and silverware
talking to each other from across the table
by scraping against plates
“they’ve been arguing a while”
said the steak knife as it goes 
back and forth between the fork 
to the empty wine glass
“our big happy family”
the spoon scutts against teeth
“so much for the anniversary”
the napkin says as it gets wiped over a frown


clementines and tangerines 
sitting in a lime green bowl on the counter.
blood oranges and nectarines stacked
on grapefruits and lemons
a sticky kitchen knife stabbed standing in a cutting board 
i kiss the juice off your face
your memory is gone by morning
discarded peels get tossed in the trashcan 
and throw the bruised and mushy citrus outside for the birds
the dishes are placed in the sink
pieces of fruit and seeds go down the drain
i switch on the garbage disposal

Shivering on a curb

A faulty smoke alarm still sounds like fire,
still rouses screaming kids up out of bed,
their parents running out into the cold,
a family standing in their underwear.
Still notifies the fire department of
a house engulfed in flames that don’t exist,
sirens echo throughout the city blocks,
the red lights flashing down empty dim streets.
Still rings and rings and rings and rings and rings
until a fireman goes inside the house
and bravely sacrifices five minutes
then shuts the door behind him in silence. 


My cuticles bleed over a keyboard,
blood looks black in blue light.
Bruised eyebags stare back at me when screens blank
and shut down.
I press the power button
on a dead laptop.
I see pixels in the dark.
I close the lid of a dead laptop.
I see pixels in the dark. 


Shattered flower pots,
dirt on the countertops again.
Ceramic broke
into several pieces, into shards
that poke hands and the sharp
thorns and petals and parts of leaves
Are brushed onto the floor
And swept up with a broom made of straw.

A plumber’s marriage

our broken bathroom sink floods – we argue till dawn

rusting pipes break down and weep – you say you feel drained

water pools on the flooring – we go back and forth

until your eyes leak tears – that I can’t fix with a wrench

My Sunshine

I’ve seen sunflowers turn their heads to look at you smile 
and I’ve seen roses stretch themselves just tall enough to touch your nose 
when you bend to smell them.
I’ve heard black-eyed-susans whisper sweet things as you walk by
and I’ve heard the orchids braided in your hair say they no longer need water, 
they just need you. 
You hold my hand and I realize 
I just need you.


the Glassblower makes a vase
then a jar
he goes home to see his wife
the Glassblower wakes up and makes miracles 
out of melted grains of sand and sings 
George Strait on his drives home
the Glassblower makes a sculpture 
then an ashtray
he smokes a cigarette and flicks its ashes into his creation

Jake Price has been published in Rivercraft Magazine and Right-Hand Pointing Poetry. He is a sophomore student at Susquehanna University and am pursuing a degree in creative writing

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