Tomato Flakes by Layla Lenhardt

Tomato Flakes

“Oh you’ve got green eyes, oh you’ve got blue eyes, oh you’ve got grey eyes” – New Order

I keep you hidden
in my bedside table,
or buried between my legs.
And at times, we don’t speak.

On the day we saw the moss
covered pond next to the house
that knelt on the hillside, I swore
I could say your name forever.
Your hand was entwined in mine,
like bodies in Pompeii.

You feed me artichoke
hearts from the jar. And loving
you is always eating from the
same bowl, stained bedsheets,
never-have-i-ever in Adirondacks.
It started with your skin, peeling
like a birch tree, the sun spilling
through the door jamb. You
carried with you the salty
air of the Atlantic.

It ended with a hurricane
bridges washed away,
roads buckled, I no longer
lick your wounds, paint
your nails. Send you photos.
And missing you is like
trying to tame a wildfire.


Layla Lenhardt is a queer poet who splits her time between Indianapolis and Philadelphia. She is Editor in Chief of 1932 Quarterly. She has been most recently published in Rust + Moth, Sad Girls Club, Poetry Quarterly, and Pennsylvania Literary Journal. She is a 2021 Best of the Net nominee and a 4th place finalist in Poetry Super Highway’s 2019 Poetry Contest

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