FNS: If The Kitten Puts on Its Turn Signal from AJ Oxenford

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Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative,
poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Helen Presents: a poem from AJ Oxenford


In the evening,
if the birds
look straight west
and the squirrels
drop their nuts,
shave the hairs
off your upper lip
and head to the basement
with a tub of berry ice cream
and your reading glasses.
Mellow.
Sit in the dark
and lick from the top.
Think of weight lifting,
tummy tucks, treadmills,
and push-ups. No–
think of the gardener,
the way he’s able to grow
zinnias and rose bushes,
iris and hydrangeas,
in brown clay Earth
where you can’t even
get grass to grow.
After thirty-seven licks,
put on your glasses.
Leave the ice cream
to melt in the basement.
Cold, angry, forgiven, alone.


AJ Oxenford just completed her MFA at Creighton University and currently resides in Omaha, NE. She is currently working on her first novel and a chapbook-length collection of poetry.

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