Maggie Sturgess

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The coffee feels especially kind,
and the leaves especially red, blazing on branches.
“You need to shave,” I said. And then
I bit your index finger gently and wouldn’t let go.
“Where’s my compliment?” I asked
“Compliments are a privilege, not a right,” you said
and it felt especially unkind
like coffee grounds, crusted dry.
I wasn’t tall enough to see, so you picked me up
and showed me the box that had somehow fit
in small space between refrigerator and wall
then you placed me gently back on ground.
It’s that cold kind of day which feels
as though a sweater has been rubbed against the air
until sparks are formed.

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