Three Poems from Aubri Kaufman

Bio Aubri Kaufman is a multi-genre writer with two undergraduate degrees (one in English literature and one in psychology) and a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. A handful of her work has been published in various literary magazines, including Close To The Bone (forthcoming), Pink Plastic House, and Rewrites. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @aubrirose

twenty regular cash

I carved you from a stone I found

in the yard, and watched you sink

to the bottom of a paper cup

with my chin pressed

against warm laminate, eye level

until the thin, wax coating

started to peel and float

I could almost see you again

through the waterlogged fibers

“get out of the bathroom,” if we’re late

they’ll think we’re trash

and all that time spent

adorning me

with gold leaf decoupage

from wrist to temple will be

wasted, you know you can’t drive like that.

spitting image

say it’s christmas

the day before you turn 30

the glint of glass is everywhere, inside

and out. the kind of break

that means it. splinters

that’ll nestle into the caulk

between the foyer’s floorboards, waiting.

you could turn the house on its side

and try to shake them

loose. and through the windows

it would look just like

the kaleidoscope

you had when you were six

or seven, whose prisms somehow

drowned the sound of an engine starting

while the tires spun on snow, in reverse.

jughandle town

mornings used to unfurl, gently,

reticently, across a boardwalk

sun-bleached slats promising, one by one

you have no place to go.

it’s a tuesday, or maybe a thursday

and perhaps you’ll find yourself

outside the boneyard, smoking

a short the bass player cut you

or in someone’s ford, going 85

on your way to their apartment

or up on a hotel sink, in the dark

after a 12-hour shift.

maybe you’ll visit your grandmother’s

grave, but probably not.

maybe you’ll spend your last twenty dollars

on a styrofoam container of half-price sushi

or pay a woman to paint your nails

next door to the check cashing place

where your mom used to work.

maybe you’ll smell like a makeshift fire pit

for the entire day, and visit

your brother’s farm, push

the neighbor’s son on a tire swing

in that abandoned park they never cleaned up.

or, maybe, you’ll sit in a parked car

outside the convenience store

you used to walk to, years ago

during your high school’s football games

wondering what the fuck

you’re supposed to do about the check engine light.