Kristen Steenbeeke

Day 26

“I forgot for a second which way a calendar goes”

flower panicles out the window beaten down by rain

the day we achieve “bear market” status

i’m looking at a calendar in the doctor’s office bathroom

where each month is a different eye disease

April is a close-up of a child’s retinoblastoma

like milk spilling in a Mars-colored lake

a picture of the child: one bright white pupil

the stock market rose sharply in anticipation

the stock market stumbled, junk status

meanwhile I am collecting midstream

leaving it in a two-way box like Catholic confession

cutting my pills into fours and dipping them in honey

your one-eyed self portrait comes home and watches us onerously

as the toilet clogs, as you gash your finger with a palette knife

capping a volatile week of peaks and falls

we are looking at, we are expecting, crude futures

the future tumbles, pops, swings, snaps, roars, swells, plunges, dives, takes a beating

Kristen Steenbeeke graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she received the Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellowship. She won Indiana Review’s 2017 Poetry Prize and has had work in Electric Literature, Annulet, second factory, Bennington Review, Tagvverk, Catapult, Sixth Finch, and others. She lives in Austin, Texas, and works at Texas Monthly.