New Beginnings Haibun

by Crystal Stone

He has four laughs, but one of them is silent. I have only three and all of them are loud. I used one the first time we kissed. The sound was American, the way I say his name. He doesn’t mind. Sometimes he even tells me it’s cute. I stuck a quail egg inside my body today because loving him makes me itchy. He doesn’t notice if he feels that way, too—it’s not his insides that burn. Lucky him. The cells in my cervix are precancerous. My chances of getting cancer are higher if I smoke. My doctor tells me, even just one cigarette. I tell her don’t worry, but it’s hard to write poems when you’re falling in love. I use an adverb every time I imagine his smile. Like I need it very much. Like anyone certainly cares about the details, regards the description of even small motions. Instead of “kill two birds with one stone,” some insist, “feed two birds with one scone.” But I have no interest in nesting. Even though it is winter. We hyphenate our lips, not our names. We see stories we already want to tell, not the sun or the trees. When we look up,

the clouds are cursive
letters. Love is snow, I sled
in the debris.

Crystal Stone’s poetry has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Daily, SWWIM, PHEMME, Better than Starbucks, peculiar, Sport Literate, Collective Unrest, Driftwood Press, New Verse News, Occulum, Anomaly, BONED, Eunoia Review, {isacoustic*}, Tuck Magazine, Writers Resist, Drunk Monkeys, Coldnoon, Poets Reading the News, Jet Fuel Review, Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, North Central Review, Badlands Review, Green Blotter, Southword Journal Online and Dylan Days. She is an MFA candidate at Iowa State University, gave a TEDx talk the first week of April, and her first collection of poetry, Knock-off Monarch (Dawn Valley Press), was released on Amazon in December of 2018.

Artwork by: Lucas Pezeta