Two Poems

14 Billion Hands Manifest the Singularity of Touch

Jigsaw your way into my cochlea & speak 
like abandoned shells that gurgle my pulse: 
finally, a mantra I can understand. 
It is the sound of you falling asleep, hand 
over my bare breast. I have thistled into the spaces 
between your bones. My joints will strawberry 
& pucker around the pillar of your spine to keep you 
crooked. Do not crease, shine like cold showers—
the first sticky day of summer. Admit the smell of smoke 
is a reminder of your grandfather’s 
cancer, & I am the cigarette your mother refuses 
to ash. You are the reason for the marker stains 
on my arms—slurred & wobbly like your first 
steps out of the bedroom. I stop to clench myself 
shut, chipped & curtained by the sudden cold. 
I tongue your name across my teeth, count taste 
buds using feeling alone.

Existence as Found in the Bed of a Pick-Up Truck

 I will live in the rust-stained hinges of your back 
door. You will find me in the summer grass, a cork
                                         flung across a June backyard. The sound

of skin puckering is silence underneath your high school 
diploma, & we must soak into the white lines

on the interstate. Potholes are a reminder of the day 
your mother told you to love the gaps

             between your teeth—she was 
             right. If you follow the cracks between the driver’s seat & the center

console, childhood will peek out: crumbs & bits of glitter 
from the first summer you rucked for a girl. You cherried & cracked 
at my name, pulled your stomach out from your body to keep 

the sound of rockslides in. I tunneled into myself to keep 
deaf to your noise. Our currency: grasshopper leg-songs—
shrill in the theatre quiet of your parents’ bedroom. Cultured like tetanus 

when you tried to cut fifteen from your hair & forgot to wet 
the scissors, we clock-worked into the space between the back 
seat & the open window, didn’t quite fit. I ask you not to fold 

or accordion-fit into the hollow where my ankles 
cross. My body won’t hold the laundry-pile of faces that cyclone 
past like stretches of Carolina highway—I walk knee-deep into the blooms.

DEVIN STABLEY-CONDE hails from Youngstown, New York and is currently studying English and Creative Writing at SUNY Geneseo. This is her first publication. 

The Adirondack Review