“The Juicer” by Cameron Morse

In the dream, I’m falling. 

I tell you I’m falling. One arm 

hooked onto the ice shelf, the other

wrapped about my boy, I fall

into the dark Arctic river.

In the morning Mariah plunges 

down on the food pusher. She drops

a cucumber into the roaring 

juicer and out trickles 

green. After I drop, 

my dream screen cuts

to you, back in our apartment, 

looking for your shoes 

among extended family members. 

Mariah drops in a carrot. 

Out drips orange. Theo waves

goodbye and closes the closet door 

in a game where I pretend 

to forget he’s in there. The surprise 

of it is the storm door 

locks itself and me out

of the house: Theo alone, at 22 months, 

is in it. I still don’t believe he could 

have reached the latch.

Cameron Morse was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2014. With a 14.6 month life expectancy, he entered the Creative Writing Program at the University of Missouri–Kansas City and, in 2018, graduated with an M.F.A. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, Portland Review and South Dakota Review. His first poetry collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His three subsequent collections are Father Me Again (Spartan Press, 2018), Coming Home with Cancer (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), and Terminal Destination (Spartan Press, 2019). He lives with his pregnant wife Lili and son Theodore in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he manages Inklings’ FOURTH FRIDAYS READING SERIES with Eve Brackenbury and serves as poetry editor for Harbor Review.  For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.  

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