On Sleeping On Your Pillow by Nicole Tallman
Every night I sleep on your old pillow
even though it’s yellowed with time.
It’s not an ugly yellow.
It’s yellow like the crocuses
and the daffodils I’d pick for you
because you’d refuse store-bought flowers.
You know yellow used to be my least favorite color —
the color of teeth tinged with age,
the color of fingers stained with nicotine,
the color of infection and fangled sunflowers.
Did you know there’s a word for fear of sunflowers?
But now there’s a nostalgia I feel with certain shades of yellow —
the dandelion yellow of your failed liver,
the canary yellow of the beanie you worn on your balding, dying head,
the mustard yellow of the last purse you bought,
the marigold in the memory of your small yellow hand,
I held it until you said, You’ve got to stop touching me so much.
Nicole Tallman is the Poetry Ambassador for Miami-Dade County, Associate Editor for South Florida Poetry Journal and Interviews Editor for The Blue Mountain Review. Her debut chapbook is forthcoming from Southern Collective Experience Press. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @natallman.