Salt and Sunflower Seeds

Salt and Sunflower Seeds

a mouse sits on the edge
of the steel grate below the ceiling.
his beady eyes bulge
as he nibbles on a stale sunflower seed.
his translucent ear twitches,
the one with a pie-shaped piece
missing at its tip,
as the floating legal documents
settle to the ground.

the woman pounded her fist
on the oak desk—papers and a bowl
of sunflower seeds strewn on the ground.
the man refused to take her pen.

his whiskers vibrate
as he chews on the seed.

the man’s suit coat still
draped over the high-backed chair—
he didn’t bother to grab it as he
scrambled out the door,
his briefcase choking on stacks of papers
decorated with gold lettering.

the mouse licks the remnants of salt
from his pointed nose and bony paws.
he leaves his perch and disappears
into the void,
leaving the empty shell
to collect dust and abandoned dreams.

Copyright © 2015 Mariah Gorden


her bedroom, her nest
a place of safety now turned
into a silenced gun chamber.
a baby sparrow
thrown onto a bed
of her plucked down feathers,
pink skin exposed.
he pins her body, and continues
to tongue her sparse feathers
until they disintegrate
from his acidic slavering.
she squirms beneath him,
feathers floating around her head.
he bites her lip until it bleeds,
driving his fist into the wall.
sweat, tears, and saliva pool
on her trembling breastbone.
disgust and frustration contort his face
as he glares at his prey.
with reluctance,
he releases her wrists,
slamming the door behind him.
shivers soothe her
as the sparrow struggles
to clothe her naked body
with plucked, soggy down.