By Veronica Kornberg

Featured Art by Johan Teyler

Valentine’s Day and I’m at the farmers’ market
with my aquamarine Olivetti, typing poems for
whatever the buyers think they’re worth.

For Annie, the homeless woman who stops by
each week, I pull the sun out of the sky,
let it hover just above her solar plexus
and shoot its rays out of her eyes, superhero style.
She flashes her dimples and takes a dollar
from the jar, pushes on between
the pickler and the flower stall.

I tap away, next to the cheesemaker’s penned-up
petting goat shaking flies off its ears, opposite
the oozing combs of the honey man and a pile of sweet
potatoes, root-hairs whiskering their chins.

My table is usually a drowsy zone, but today
a line of genial men materializes before me,
managing their bouquets while one-hand-texting,
children threading between their legs.
The goat and I are busy.

Some men want their hearts laid raw, beating
on the page. One talks about a fishing trip.
I give them oceans. Powdery stamens
on a daffodil and pillow talk. Black-seamed stockings
in a country inn. I tell them what I wish
someone would say to me this chilly February
afternoon. It’s worth a lot, that little silence
while they read, minds suddenly gone naked,
before we shudder back to our ordinary selves
and they stuff the jar with bills. Which I use to buy turnips

Veronica Kornberg (she/her) is a poet from Northern California. Recipient of the Morton Marcus Poetry Prize, her work has appeared in numerous journals, including Beloit Poetry Journal, Salamander, Menacing Hedge, The Shore, Spillway, and Tar River Poetry. She is currently at work on her first book and is a Peer Reviewer for Whale Road Review

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