Today I am grateful for such small mercies as covering
my breasts with my pendulous arm while driving cars
in towns only called villages and knowing the pendulum
dooms me to a mind cleared of obligation and wants.
Yesterday I was grateful for knowing coasters make
perfect gifts for people who didn’t even know their need
to protect their future possessions, for gracelessness
in the face of sounds I had not yet heard: alliterations
of the nursing home, pondering of the gas pumps post-
hurricane, the abilities of some to render insubstantial
even the most pedestrian of wishes, and to be grateful
for this is to slice off one breast and press it against
the nearest window, St. Agatha, stand between what
I want and what will be the end of my wants.
Erica Bernheim teaches English at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. Her writing has recently appeared in DIAGRAM, The Missouri Review, Cutbank and Denver Quarterly, and her first full-length collection, The Mimic Sea, was published by 42 Miles Press (Indiana University South Bend).