SLIVER

I lick the walls and dump coffee grounds in my shoe.
If I open wide, would you massage my gums, plunge your tongue
into my cavity? I've chewed too many nails, too many triangles
of candied corn, and even then, the natives moved on without me.
I have a stack of books and a ribbed condom. It expires in nine days,
what are you waiting for, my love? Time is what you make it,
but can you make more time? I feel sorry for the girl
with AIDS and crimped hair. I want to touch her,
yes, even there, where she is wet and contagious.
Life is full of broken combs and blisters. Still we go on,
because it is in us, the need for continuance,
that sliver of persistence inside every cell.


Jayne Pupek
JAYNE PUPEK holds an MA in Psychology and lives near Richmond, Virginia. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in several on-line and print publications. Primitive, her chapbook of poetry, is available from Pudding House Press. Her first novel is scheduled for release in Spring 2006 by Algonquin at Chapel Hill. She can be contacted at JaynePupek@aol.com.
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book AwardThe St. Lawrence Book Award
The St. Lawrence Book Award
The Adirondack Review