Upham's Corner Online

"3 Things"- A Poem by Danielle Fontaine

Posted: November 15, 2011    

3 Things

Damp tile beneath
the balls of my feet. Warped
glasses slipping off my nose.
My fingers interlocked
under my thighs.

Three things I sense
at this moment;
a grounding technique,
used to interrupt
obsessive thoughts.
I once taught this
to adolescents.

The film of Colgate.
My shea-butter chap-stick
Black "Ready-Brew"

I knew a kid who would eat
sticks of butter. Straight from
the fridge, he'd peel
the wrapping and suck
it like a popsicle.

Cigarette smoke from a neighbor's
apartment. Ash from last night's
resin. The dry air hissing off my heater.

I never thought of snakes
as slimy. When I was six
my sister bought a ball
python. It would tangle
up in my curls.

My bruised toe-nail. A pink cat
toy on the table. A copy of
When Rabbit Howls.

I heard it once before
school. When my mother
grabbed my rabbit
from a heap of leaves,
a high pitched whinny
-a perversion of a scream.

Rain pinging my
air-conditioner. Empty
beer bottles rattling on the
dishwasher. The tone
you used yesterday
when you said "what if?"

I could:
See red taillights.
Feel the weight of your body
lagging my car's acceleration.

I never offered you a ride
to or from Boston.
You assumed I
welcomed the idea.

I could:
Taste stale iced-tea.
Smell your cologne.

It's only a carpool. You live
two minutes away and pay
for my parking.

I hear you repeat that I
am an attractive young woman.

My mind runs, terrified
of what you don't say:

1) Royal pythons roll themselves
into a ball when threatened.
2) Rabbits lack vocal chords.
3) When first remembering
victims of violence,
cry like rabbits.

Danielle Fontaine is currently a working writer pursuing her MFA at the  University of Massachusetts Boston.
  • Her work has received honorable mentions in writing competitions for both Writer's Digest and The Academy of American Poets.
  • Her poems have been featured on NPR's "Here and Now" website and have appeared in Juked Poetry, Front Range, Prick of the Spindle and others.
  • She writes both poetry and spoken word and has been featured at various venues in the Boston area.

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