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Rikki Santer: a poem

Dear Little Sandwich

In order to feed this story,

once upon a time I took to skipping my way

through too many assurance sandwiches,

random fillings layered with overmuch.

Everyone is usually more pleasing

in the kitchen so eventually he and I became

conspirators in alchemy converting

flirtation into slices & slabs.

When you, baby sandwich, grew your teeth

in the cupboard, your parents got in the habit

of sucking on dormant house keys

or pacifiers soaked in melodrama –

sardines, gherkins, maraschino cherries.

Hope was the aroma of onions frying.

Then mistresses on mattresses.

Keys rusting in a jar.

Crumbs on chipped plates & globs

of bargain white bread stuck

on the roof of his gummy mouth.

Rikki Santer's poetry has appeared in various publications including Ms. Magazine, Poetry East, Slab, [PANK], Crab Orchard Review, RHINO, Grimm, Hotel Amerika and The Main Street Rag. She has received five Pushcart and three Ohioana book award nominations, as well as a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her eighth collection, Drop Jaw, was published this spring by NightBallet Press.

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