9 December 2005 | Vol. 5, No. 4

You Have Made a Career of Not Listening

– G.L.

God has spider skin and lives in secret trees. I have stood beside you, saying this, as you reach into the cupboard for another stack of dry noodles. You eat them with the dead still on, with the sticky deadness still on, because you always throw out the foil package of seasoning. So the noodle brick just loosens, slowly, in a flat brine of city water, just squats and spreads in the center of the frying pan like a washed-up boxer or a stranger's face disappearing into morphine. After the fight the boxer wraps a towel around his hips and walks into his manager's office. Some boys wipe fifty bucks' worth of sweat from the ring, then head to the all-night diner smelling like stacks of thumbs. Meanwhile, dollar bills are blooming in the stranger's lonely raincoat pocket. It is 5:00 a.m. There are places you will never go with me, no matter how many times you ask, or how hard you eat.

About the author:

Kiki Petrosino graduated from the University of Virginia in 2001. She spent the next two years teaching English and Italian at an international boarding school in Lugano, Switzerland. In 2004, she graduated from the University of Chicago with an MA degree in Humanities. Her thesis, a manuscript of original poems entitled Star Silo, received the Catherine Ham Best Thesis Award from the University of Chicago. Kiki is currently a second-year MFA student at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. This is her first publication in a literary journal.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 5, No. 4, where "You Have Made a Career of Not Listening" ran on December 9, 2005. List other work with these same labels: poetry, prose poem, editors' select, best new poets 2006.

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