You say my anger squats and rises in me
like a stale loaf, half-baked
on the low rung of a broken oven,
its steel trays slamming and wincing
through the hinges,
like so many mouths in braces
(not saying: fists against faces).
Or that my anger flops on the world
like an off pie.
collapsing in the middle,
the kind you’d decapitate at break-time
to attack only from the inside.
“Besides, eating this is basically like
having ten slices of bread,” you’d smirk,
monitoring each mouthful
(not saying: through a jaw forced open).
My anger doesn’t irritate or itch.
Because it’s a fact, you see, not a glitch.
Comforting, it folds and separates,
like sheets, like a duvet,
and in it I stuff each dismissal away.
I press the push buttons to seal it,
small and reshaped.
I tuck it in at the edges.
I remake it every morning.
My anger flares down time,
fast as a fish
caught in another sort of current,
electric and silvered,
not with scale but reflection.
You consider it catched,
snatched and still in your net.
Not admitting it’s vibrating.
Never saying it’s not dead.
My anger moves as if ash
down your institutional passage,
staining each surface,
fingering the walls.
It doesn’t ask permission to travel
because fire never does.
All my anger requires
is some sort of friction,
a tension solved by air.
A gasp, I guess,
at the kindling you levered
from legs pushed apart
into small stacks you’d hacked,
sure the pyre was the point,
sure containment was ahead.
Forgetting that flames spread.