by Mia Ayumi Malhotra

You’ll wake to the rattle of porcelain
against rim, turn to unhappy linens:
rumpled pillow, cast-off duvet. Mouth
steeped in bitters, you’ll rise to clear

the bedroom of unhappy linens,
breakfast things: butter pat, tea cozy
steeped in bitters. You’ll rise, clear
the mug with the chipped lip

and other breakfast things. Left
to the cozy tyranny of drying rack,
the mug with the chipped lip
whispers mutiny along its ceramic edge.

The tyranny of the dying wracks
the china saucer, whose cracked
ceramic rim whispers: mutiny.
Silver clamors in the hall cabinet

where china saucers crack and brim
with rumpled silverfish. Their velvet
mouths clamor in the hall cabinet
for your wake, upsetting the porcelain.

Mia Ayumi Malhotra is a Kundiman Fellow, and her poems have appeared in Greensboro Review, Drunken Boat, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. She has been a finalist for the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, the Alice James Award, and the Kundiman Poetry Prize.