Shop News Events ÖMËGÄ Podcast Submissions About Distribution Connect


TICKLE WARS ❋ Sarah Feldbloom

Last night at a bar
someone told me that even people
who are ticklish won’t laugh
if they’re getting it from someone they don’t like

I used to refuse you
pointed my straight face
at yours
while your fingers flew all over
hiked hills and coves
played my armpits like your electric guitar
decorated in dreidel stickers from my mother
I would always start to laugh
It was the funniest joke in the world

Over a glass of pear cider I let myself think of you
and feel the good rise around me
cover my ears
until fully dunked
no possibility for breath

The night I told you I loved you
in bed
you said nothing
I went to the bathroom in my underpants and when I got back
you were asleep

Now, in the backyard
I’m locking my bike and
the cat comes
“Whaddyat Smitty?” I ask candidly
and Smitty kind of shrugs

I think of the hill of ripped black garbage bags behind the house on Boggin street
Black Daliya running out the door
so jealous
I disrupted her status
as woman of the house
Rebelling in the streets, getting pregnant
a thousand times by white cat
and stripey cat
while we’d run around in circles screaming for her

The sound of partying eighteen year olds
past four
shouting up the block into our window
from Lot 709
Your mouth against my ear
arms around my stomach
unwashed yellow cotton
a drunk smiley face spray painted on our door

The cat went feral
you said
when I was back to visit
She walked right past you and Stefan
on a street in Georgetown, not a glance

Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel
We’re singing songs on the couch
Cooking fish
Rolling down empty hills in the snowstorm

Through the woods to the backup water supply
Up the trail from Ladies Lookout
Into the wartime viewing huts at the Goulds

We’re holding hands and breathing in the ocean
mooning out at the expanse

You’ll sell two of your amps
and get a fender
I’ll wait for you in September

Through the narrows
over the rocks
into the blue, blue, blue