Something to Help Me Sleep / Liz Kay
A founding editor of the journal burntdistrict, Liz Kay holds an MFA from the University of Nebraska, where she was the recipient of both an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Wendy Fort Foundation Prize for exemplary work in poetry. In 2008, she was awarded a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize for excellence in lyric poetry. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Nimrod, Willow Springs, The New York Quarterly, Iron Horse Literary Review, Redactions, and Sugar House Review.
Ella at the Cafe
At first I’d add too much sugar, spill
the foam right over the lip
as I tried to stir.
I’ve been coming here for weeks now,
and learned to like it
a little less sweet.
I’ve started planning my days
to get here before him. He drops
his bag in a chair, takes
a long sip, sucking
in air and steam. His lips purse
as if he might whistle
across the cup,
and the hairs at the back of my neck
move in answer.