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Evan Williams

Citric Satisfaction

Breakfast is a single tangerine

grown in the winter, he imagines it’s good and enough.

His wife puts some coffee on.

She’d be an aged thing now, were she real.

Shrewish shih tzu shakes off icy-handed pats now.

Shake, doggy, shake, doggy, shake off my love.

The dog, haughty, trundles off to sleep,

dreams of masters who use words like firmament.

He reminds himself that firmament is just

a fancy word for sky. He would use it, too,

the fancy word, were it not for the sink

being broken and cold-

cracked walls descending glacially upon him. A town

where you just sleep

at night, that’s him.

If he were to disappear,

he’d write a note: to all the royalty

I never did meet, my father and his father


gave me this name and this tangerine,

this leaky sink and sinking home,


gracefully aging nonexistent wife, a shih tzu

who does not accept my love.


I want you to know, beneath

this firmament, it is good and enough.


Evan Williams is a first year student at The University of Chicago; he cannot properly wind a hose, and frequently burns himself lighting candles.

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