Two Poems | Jordan Sanderson

Formula #20

The sun falls like a cantaloupe dropped from a truck
onto dew-damp pavement. Scoop the seeds
into your mouth. Rinse your eyes with the juice.
Roll in the yellow meat the way dogs roll in carrion.
Snatch as much skin as you can from the oncoming
traffic, like the time you chased your wind-torn map
into the surf. It will be slick as your second lover’s rosary
after a morning of repenting for you, so be quick.
Like you say, the skin tells the whole story.
When you repeat it, vines will fall from your tongue.
Coyotes will keep you up, whining at the bright blooms.



“The tongue is a porcupine,” she said. “It likes to be held,” he said. “We’ll never solve the mystery of the tongue,” they said. Their tongues were shy, so they didn’t enunciate well, often having misunderstandings that they blamed on their ears. “My tongue hates the word glossolalia,” she said. “It doesn’t feel involved.” He repeated glossolalia. “Ace Frehly has the god of tongues,” he said. “I prefer a tongue with more girth,” she told him. They held pieces of dark chocolate on their tongues, letting it dissolve into sweetness. “The tongue is a real worker bee, gathering all that pleasure and transferring it to the mind,” she said. “What about that organ on The Rolling Stones’ t-shirts?” he asked. “Too dependent upon lips,” she said. “It could never live alone.” “Mine would be a terrible rudder,” she said. “Mine is no sword,” he said, attempting comfort. “You only get one tongue,” she said. “But they’re so hard to care for,” he said, his tongue barging around his mouth, shoving teeth. “Sometimes, it won’t let me sleep,” she said, drooling. “Even when I brush it and braid it and climb down it into the night’s soft mouth.”



Jordan SandersonJordan Sanderson’s work has recently appeared in Better: A Journal of Culture and Lit, Red Earth Review, Gigantic Sequins, and The Fiddleback. He earned a PhD from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi and currently lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where he teaches English.


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