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Three Poems by Sarah A. O’Brien

This Isn’t a Poem About Cold Hands

my hands are cold at the moment
(when aren’t they, really),
so they look purple (this purple coat
isn’t helping much with that).
I’m often forgetting little bits of life;
I’m often putting on headphones,
then neglecting to turn on the music.

but this isn’t a poem about forgetting.
this isn’t a poem about cold hands.

trying to remember what it was about,
but of course it’s slipped my mind,
so I suppose I’ll grab a coffee at this
hopping shop on the corner, cupping
my palms around a hot drink

(Caution: Contents May Be Hot) to stay alive.


Without Fingers

your fingers are falling off;
he reveals he once stuck a thumb tack
into his hand to distract from pain
elsewhere.

self-destructive tendencies tease,
not so fast, happy girl…

several people think they’ll see you
later tonight. they do not know:
your fingers are falling off;

you have lost control.
did you ever have control?

kinder than you thought possible,
he goes out of his way to pay
parking tickets never received,

to hold doors for everyone,
else.

without fingers, you push open
a worse reality than could have
existed; there is nowhere to go
except straight ahead.

nothing to do except to learn
to live without fingers.


Another Confession of Love at McDonald’s

chain smoking in traffic,
but timing it so we’re high
at McDonald’s (driving past it,
at first) and don’t notice how
purple our hands are turning
in the February night.

your cheeks are unseasonably
warm, I realize, when brushing
against them in the February night.

it seems my life revolves
around various McDonalds’

(what is the plural of that anyway?),
since Marsy almost said he loved me
over strawberry milkshakes in Italy,
and then Sadik almost did the same
over summer thunder in Newton.

something I love about us is that
when I don’t order fries, you still
let me eat almost all of yours.
and when I get another confession
of love at McDonald’s, I’m glad
that this one isn’t an almost.


about the author:

Sarah A OBrienSarah A. O’Brien enjoys dark chocolate and light wordplay. Sarah is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Boston Accent Lit. Her poetry has previously appeared in The Alembic, Every Writer, Snapping Twig, Ampersand Literary, Unbroken Journal, Ghost City Review, Allegro Poetry Magazine, and Random Sample, and is forthcoming in Elbow Room. Follow her adventures: @fluent_SARAcasm.

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