Michael Schmeltzer was born in Yokosuka, Japan, and eventually moved to the U.S. He is the author of the collaborative, nonfiction book A Single Throat Opens (Black Lawrence Press, 2017,) a lyric exploration of addiction, and two books of poetry: Blood Song (Two Sylvias Press, 2016), which was longlisted for the Julie Suk Award, and Elegy/Elk River (Floating Bridge Press, 2015), winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award. His writing can be found in Black Warrior Review, Mid-American Review, The Shallow Ends, Split Lip Magazine, and PANK, among others.

Michael Schmeltzer

Unmade Sheets Like the Mess of This Universe

Here we begin, cosmic and comical: unmade sheets like the mess of this universe, or the universe unmade by sheets and your bare legs. On this bed we've been so drunk the room is a planet in manic rotation. The universe responds to your back, the curve and dark energy of bodies only partially visible. I want to believe all revolutions begin with explosions, some fire in the center of our being. Your chest, this universe, expanding and contracting even while we sleep. At your most peaceful you can create or annihilate everything. * Most days the universe is no bigger than buying the perfect fitted sheets the color of celery. In the kitchen my favorite cast-iron skillet. In the bathroom a white robe hanging from the doorknob. In the bedroom there is no bed and no place that remembers the hook-shaped birthmark on your hip. There is no hip covered by a black dress but there is a black dress crumpled in the corner, a storm of silk. There was one night between us. You tore the very sky down. * Coax the bed to expand. Some nights you suffocate because of the body nearby, the smell of sweat on a pillow. This galaxy is minute; I don't know what else to tell you. If you've seen one moon you've seen them all.

This poem is part of a "domestic panic" series I'm working on. As with many of the pieces in the series it begins where fear and desire intersect, especially when seen through the thick and thin lenses of time. Side note: a thank you to Kat Dixon, whose poetry I was reading while I wrote this poem. Her work/technique played a part in this creation.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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