Two Poems

By Tennae Maki

Regarding the pragmatics of digital writing

There was a small pipe that ran vertically up the wall.
Four light switches were located just beside it. They
were stacked right on top of the other, and all five
things were painted brown. None of them seemed to
do anything at all.

I once had a friend who proclaimed that he was king.
In games of checkers and chess, he’d point to the
playing piece and say “this is me.” I never saw him
wear royal colors or bare honorary metals.

Every so often I see a pigeon or crow walk along my
windowsill. My curtains are pink and the so is the
ledge, or so I like to think. A blushing house is far
prettier than one that is lined with cement and stone.

My sister’s kitchen has black and white tiles on the
floor. They aren’t square, like one might expect. No,
they’re triangles, instead. I always thought that they’d
been difficult to lay straight, when first glued to the floor.

If I linger much longer the kettle will start to sing without me.

If history swung through rain like a tornado spun through houses.

From the moment the door slammed shut behind
me, I struggled to fold my umbrella down. The
wires wouldn’t collapse onto each other; the wind
and rain had contorted the strips of metal.

My footsteps quickened as I passed through the
hall. The echo that reverberated from the heel of my
shoe betrayed my sense of urgency. Small puddles
traced the steps that I had taken.

Even though my breath quickened, the rate of my
heart beat seemed to stay the same. The pulsating
noise of my life’s greatest muscle seemed to be at
battle with the sound of my feet.

There was no ornament on the walls, nor floor. I
felt as though I was chasing the doors that hung.
One after another, engaging in a dialog, chanting
after me as I ran past them.

The corridor was empty, there was nothing to
obstruct my path. Even so, I made my way down
the center. Perhaps, it was out of instinct, ensuring
no entrant could interject upon my urgency.

All the while, I struggled to wrangle my umbrella
together and store it in my bag.

It was dark and grey outside. If you’d had asked me
then, I would have said that inside was too.

But, then of course, I’d have also though that
antebellum was a place and tire swings grew from
the ground.

Since completing her graduate studies, where TEnnae studied architecture zines and urban planning, she has become a weekend writer. She currently works for an architecture firm and is the volunteer archivist for an arts radio station. Her work has been published in numerous print and digital journals, including; 491, Spillway, Eunoia Review, Futures Trading, The Bicycle Review, Lone Star Poetry Magazine, and Pure Francis.

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