When the sun bleeds into my bedroom
I’m again the window at a pine desk

one eye closed, just trying to keep
the blinds open. I can’t ask for sunshine

and be mad when she shows up overdressed.

I want to appreciate everything
and all at once. I want to let the heat

and shine bake into my winter skin.
I almost forget what it’s like to sweat

but I remember—my mother leaving
the oven door open
like a tongue

The sweaty faces of three children; cold backs.
Fleece blankets pulled around ourselves

with the corners our fists, nets to catch the hot
from the oven. We let oven heat slip around

our shoulders, welcomed the burn into our
comforter cocoons. Our mother gifted us so much

heat we would forget about the empty oven.
And when the open warmth made us dizzy,

she put vanilla extract in a mug and closed
the oven. A house that smelled of fresh baking,

three bundles of blankets, and a lit-up
oven window too stickied to see in.


Chrissy Martin is a PhD student at Oklahoma State University and a recent graduate from the Poetry MFA program at Columbia College Chicago. She also holds a BA in English from The University of Akron. She is the Poetry Editor for Arcturus and an Editorial Assistant for Cimarron Review. Her work has appeared in Amazon's Day One, Voicemail Poems, MISTRESS, (b)OINK, and Lit.Cat. Find her at chrissymartinpoetry.com. (2019)