HOW I KNOW THINGS
ARE BAD AGAIN

JAE NICHELLE

not always,
your mouth leaves first.
I speak to you as if you are
a vessel for a later you.

I tell you about my day—
how a woman gave me
coffee free because
I didn’t have change—

you pick at a plate
then leave it to dry.
lips desolate. I tell you
open, chew, push.

later, you do. food
straight from the fridge
where I saved it. later,
you might take a bath.

your eyes leave last.
you don’t notice I did
my hair different. later,
you remember, you say

that was nice
of the coffeeshop woman.
I pour myself
into a glass for you.

later, you drink it.

JAE NICHELLE‘s work has been featured on platforms such as Write About Now and DaPoetry Lounge, and in journals such as TRACK//FOUR, Vinyl Poetry and Prose, Freezeray Poetry, Muzzle Magazine, The Tulane Review, and Solstice Literary Magazine. Her chapbook, The Porch (As Sanctuary), is upcoming from YesYes Books.