DONNA SPRUIJT-METZ The New Science of Slippery Surfaces

is revolutionizing containers.
Oil will slide through pipelines,
glue will flow, bacteria will be unable

to find purchase in stents and IV lines.
Through my one summer
as an incompetent waitress

I watched people trying to slap
ketchup out of bottles, then
use a knife. Here in the coffee shop,

I wait for you and watch
a student at the next table wrestle
with the Sriracha. And you,

my daughter, in your doctor’s coat,
your wedding ring, sit down
across from me. I try not to want

too much. Consider all the ways
we try to get things out
that seem to want to stay in,

as if there were a will to it.

Donna Spruijt-Metz is a poet, translator, and Professor of Psychology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Her first career was as a professional flutist. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in venues such as Vinyl, The Rumpus, and Naugatuck River Review. She gets restless.