I am a cold scorpion. I am an effusive cloud. I am a counter, a fish, a simmering pot, a bacterium under the skin of a chicken. I am a hand steadily (unsteadily?) becoming one with a chef's knife. I am an anecdote and a still life. I am a simile rolling off a tongue that becomes real, complete with a poisonous stinger. On first read, these two poems by Tory Adkisson take one through a succession of solitary states: "I've gotten so used to flavor of want— // curing myself would do more damage." The speaker, other than a brief mention of the long-deceased artist Vermeer, is the only human inhabiting these poems. But through the examination of the solitary existence, Adkisson creates worlds of tenderness. The chicken carcass beats with the world of bacteria feasting on its raw flesh. The paella ingredients will soon come together to create a life-sustaining (and affirming) meal. The stove will become dirtied and in need of somebody to clean it. And as we read, we join Adkisson and "accept similes on [our] tongue / for communion" and watch as like-ness becomes actual-ness, as the lonely world becomes repopulated by our own existence imbuing everything with life—even if it is just our own.