Matt Thomas

Juice: Matt Thomas


I’m the hack, it’s true
You wield a thumbnail
to my steak knife, always.
I thought I had been cheated the skin
but of course, so obvious
the way that you heft
the heavy little worlds,
graceful as whatever it was
created them; it’s that
which skipped me, ovaries
armoring the seeds.

The child upstairs,
still curled into a comforter watching her phone,
one mother in the shower,
the other blow drying her hair,
dogs under the table,
leaves outside the open window
sound the rush of us from father to son

Peeling tangerines
enjoying the fruit
of our quiet, friendly estrangement
each watching the other’s hands
sharply aware
of the other’s discrepancies of talent,

familiar beyond the ability to conceal
anything from the other
and so we’re a kind of naked
in these moments together
every flinch revealed
beneath the other’s itchy, inherited role.

Which is why there is nothing needs saying
until the footsteps, voices
turning on the lights, asking,
‘why are you two sitting in the dark?’
and blinking into the light we reply,
together as if rehearsed, ‘juice’,
naming the work
and the mothers laugh, shrug,
think, ‘fathers.’

Matt Thomas is a smallholder farmer and software engineer. His work has appeared recently in River Heron Review and Cleaver Magazine and is upcoming in Dunes Review. He lives with his partner in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.