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Adam Cannot Be Adam

In this story I fall in love with both men named Adam.

I am prone to sinus infections.

Adam works in a tarp factory.

The other Adam keeps a jar of ten-year-old water on his shelf.

I mix antibiotics with whiskey and wear braids in my hair.

The jar of water is a gift he tells me.

Adam wants to have sex all the time.

But Adam prefers to sleep.

There is a cat and sometimes a dog.

Adam’s piano takes four hours to tune.

The piano tuner’s wife is a fortuneteller.

Adam gives me paperback novels from thrift stores.

We drink margaritas that smell like Lysol.

I move into Adam’s house after I stop having sex with Adam.

The fortuneteller says he is a crab and he is a goat and I am a ram.

There is something growing in the jar.

I have not spoken to Adam in over a year.

Rams scare crabs but crabs scare easily.

Adam prefers to work twenty-four hours a day.

The cat brings fleas into my bed.

I paint the fireplace white.

The fortuneteller says goats and rams will fight like cats and dogs.

That’s what you can expect.

Antibiotics and sleeping pills.

I ask about the jar.

What is living inside.

Adam says it was a gift and Adam doesn’t throw away gifts.

The piano weighs a thousand pounds.

Adam is not a replacement for Adam.

Rams eat goats and goats eat crabs.

There is no dignity in anonymity.

What can you expect.

In this story I cannot remember his faces.

In this story all I see is the face.

It is a gift.

{To read more of this piece, please purchase Issue 39.2.}


Kelli Anne Noftle’s first collection of poetry, I Was There for Your Somniloquy, was selected by Rae Armantrout for the 2010 Omnidawn Poetry Prize. She lives in Los Angeles.