Two Prose Poems
Mark Cunningham


Left sock on first. The way to eat a Strawberry Pop-Tart is to break the tart in half, one half in half again, then nibble the edge crust so there's only enough to hold to; only then can I move on to the strawberry-filled part. Gray socks. If the colored bands at the top differ, the darker one on the left foot. Until I was twenty, I slept on my right left side. At Mike's house, I push the toilet handle down, then turn off the light, and get out the door before the Coriolis Effect stops wringing the water clockwise. I sleep on my left side. I stir sugar into tea clockwise, then counter-clockwise, the clockwise. Fifteen, fifteen, fifteen. Either shoe first. Both feet on the ground.


I swallow and I swallow. Then sometimes I get thirsty and I have to drink. At the start of the coffee date, I say, "I'll be right back," and at the end I say, "Wait a minute and I'll walk out with you." Two times a night, I have to find the flashlight. Or lay there, shoulders glued to the sheet. I don't worry much: few nightmares snag. I shift my pillow, count my breaths. My breaths.