about the author

Joseph Felkers is a junior at Catholic Central High School, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His work is forthcoming in SOFTBLOW, Superstition Review, and Emerge Literary Journal, among others. He is a genre editor for Polyphony H.S., a mentee and poetry reader for The Adroit Journal, and an ice cream connoisseur at his local parlor.

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Petoskey Stone 

Joseph Felkers

I want it like medicine. I want it
like a hockey puck. I want it like my blood sugar
depended on it. Give me the insulin.
Leave your door open

ajar. A jar only fills to satisfy
its owner. A jar only fills
with rivulets of mercury. Mercury
in retrograde. Mercury in millimeters.
In barometers. You say torr,
I’ll say kilopaschal. You say you’re under
pressure, I’ll say what kind?

Mercury’s in retrograde again? Last time
he was we cried for twenty three days.

I want it like a conversation that can soothe
sunburns. You say aloe, I’ll say vera. You say

if there’s one flower I don’t like, it’s
the rhododendron
. Scales under flushed cheeks
remind you too much of the first boy you kissed.

I want it like a sneeze. Like an antihistamine.
Wave and/or particle and/or both. You say
Benadryl, I’ll say where?

Rock and/or fossil and/or
history. Glacier and/or lake and/or Michigan.
My mother made me spit you out like the water
that might have e.coli.

Grandma told me she’d pay one hundred
for a petoskey stone. She doesn’t get
to the beach anymore, and lives in a garden
of funeral flowers.

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