An Apartment’s Anatomy by Laura Fairgrieve

Late Fall by Inna Mosina

An Apartment’s Anatomy

When at last the counter-top melts away beneath us and we pitch and parry
on a blowing brim of wind that the ceiling fan has unleashed
around us in waves

the kitchen sink will sigh and the hail on the windowsill will murmur us
back to the birds we were
the night-time nest-builders

who perch and wait, whose mother-songs are drawing them up hoarse and hoary
in their stick-figure homes.
In cities birds have learned to line

their nests with cigarette butts which ward off parasites, burnt nicotine an insecticide
to murder the fleas, lice, mites.

Our skin still feels the same
it bows beneath fingertips and when you comb my hair, strands fall and blanket the edges of the
room like they want to keep us warm

we crouch beneath the swaying soot of a city, we peer over the windowsill and watch the frosted
roads reach our window with fingers of blue salt and a
stench of severance

I tuck a potato peeler into my pocket and wait and wait to lick the skin off of
your face, to see the map of muscles twitching beneath
hooked up and displayed with no butcher to cleave it.

I wonder where I learned such sleight of hand- there was not always this kernel lodged between
my beating ribs
this uncertain huddle of tremoring twigs that waits for the first moment of fear

we built a home once of smooth planes and the spaces in between where our teeth scrape, our
breaths whistle, and the din of jaybirds and tired neon signs meets to make a menace
of the morning light on the tiled floors

now I line our kitchen with snapping springs, rat poison, and the feathers I used to wear in my
hair. My pocket is still bulging, when will you notice the shudder, the sharpness, the noise
I have invited inside.

Laura Fairgrieve

Laura Fairgrieve is currently working on her MFA at Adelphi University. Her poems have previously appeared in Village of Crickets magazine. Her favorite food is french fries and she lives in Brooklyn with two roommates and six houseplants.