You do not admit it, but you cannot understand him. The northern accent although you’re both speaking English. When does accent become dialect become language? He says things and you nod. Nod & smile. A taxicab to a partially-built house, stud walls and poured concrete, a garden, a guest cottage, and a darkened room with enough privacy for whatever you’d agreed to earlier. Morning and it’s his brother’s house. Tea and some kind of pastry. More nodding. When you finally realize he’s telling you he’s never done this before, asking you the same, you must say “no,” and his face falls. Idiot-sweet boys and their illusions. Your pattern was yes.
Sugaring works best with the sugar, black or red maple, but the box elder or Manitoba can be used. Even some varieties of birch or palm. Process the sap by boiling. Reduce by as much as 20 to 50 times the original volume. Burnt orange to light amber to clear. Filter crystals. Guard against contamination and fermentation.
The next-door-cat leaves a gut pile for the dog. The dog appeasement-wags beside it, laying very still. Who knows what she is saying: I didn’t do it. / Can I have it? / My friend was here again. / That fucking cat torments me.
In dreams I’m bartending in Blackburn and the idiot-sweet boys keep ordering beers. I do a good pull but it’s only taps and I can’t tell what any of them are ordering. Accent becomes dialect becomes language. Viscera glistens green and iridescent. My pattern was yes.
C. Kubasta is the author the chapbooks, A Lovely Box and &s, and a full-length collection, All Beautiful & Useless (BlazeVOX, 2015). Her next book, Of Covenants, is forthcoming from Whitepoint Press in 2017. She is active with the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and serves as Assistant Poetry editor with Brain Mill Press. She thinks poetry, like humor, porn, & horror, should be a body genre. Find her at www.ckubasta.com