out of scraps and
pushing my head under his sleeping bag is disconcerting.
leaving so quickly after sex that he forgot his shoes. he tells me i’d insisted
the night before that they were mine, and wore them home.
into the ward. he’s chanting, Do not go gently into that good night! and i think bemusedly, i could do this for a while.
word nipple in it it won’t
be taut or blushed just
nipple, right there because
you know how it tastes the
slight give of density between teeth and under the ply of your tongue
baseboards. She pauses, and begins to wail as though the o’s are all the things she cannot manage. I reach
to the sink with a sudden glass and open the tap. Oxygen bubbles cloud it. I
hold it out to her and she shakes her soggy head, It’s dirty. I tell her it’s
just the bubbles. She hiccups and insists, No, it’s dirty. I fill another
the only coherent thing i said that day was, i only feel normal when i’m drunk.
clinging—No—clutching—No—manic tantrum thrashes—No! i cannot let this go i need this them
his i need you to
make me better i need you to
make me feel better adore me touch me writhe on top of me so in that suspension i can feel alive writhe on top of me so in that suspension i can feel alive your breath comes short and shallow in gasps of clinging—Yes—clutching—Yes—manic
tantrum thrashes—Yes! malleate
me pound me beat me out of myself so i can be in the quiet beat me out of myself so i can be in the quiet
they assumed it was heroin because of the jutting hipbones.
know my discomfort is his finger in the wrong hole.
in from behind.
supposed to rot in dirt.
always remember but isn’t at
all how you remember it this could
be the experience you wish you had the
experience you did have or the experience you’d wanted to have but now that it’s happening you’re wishing it were
different wish it were
more you wish you knew what
pavement. the cutlass nose-deep in a copse of trees. i can’t get my fingers to
steady around my cigarette. the hicktown cops make quite a show of marching me
into their holding cell.
university in the 90s. Psychology of Fashion (special emphasis on fetish fashion); Barbie on the Couch, a
Psychoanalytic Perspective (final projects
produced several mutilated dolls); and Female Serial Killers (surprisingly few; generally preferring poison).
arm. He stutters from the time he is verbal.
plants a brick
patio swims in a decade of oak and maple leaves
black pleather pants. I have a cigarette. She’d rather I didn’t but she smoked
when she was my age. The other two are inside some men’s store. She asks how my
summer away was and a cute boy walks by and looks toward us on the bench. She
says that he’s cute. That she’s been emailing with a nineteen year old
somewhere in the middle states. That she was going to buy a plane ticket to go
out and see him. I don’t remember where. I’m glad to have the numbing thrum of
adderall to push the din of rage and panic back behind my collarbone. At the
last minute she decided not to go. I tell her not to hit on any of the guys I
thought were cute too. She laughs. I examine the filter. My dad walks out of
freeze to a sudden stop at his waistband. flashbacks blind my retinas and i
cling to his thigh, barely breathing in the dark. he tells me that it’s okay,
that we can just have sex, instead.
remember. she tells me i was zonked out on meds, and her voice trails off, and
she gets this terrified look in her eyes.
she lives in brooklyn.
amphetamines, my mom tells me her therapist insisted she come see him 7 days a
week, or be committed.
earnest. you do know you’ve had a breakdown, right?
split-level poetry because all the under-grads write about is date rape – so i
don’t tell him about the drunken carride from two strangers, later finding an
earring twisted into my shirt, or being turned away from four Korean hospitals
because rape is not an emergency.
that women think about something naughty when out because women won’t pick up
on it, but the men will – so, i imagine licking pre-cum from a cock, which
provides a lascivious revolt against public decorum and not undamp panties.
situations sometimes mix – and the salt sours, the armor rebuilds, and the
currency of reality cripples.
me you skim and caress
and i can’t take it you are gentle and whisper and no
not here there is
nothing breathing here just
do it take it please don’t honor this please i am going to break Please
kindness does not belong in here
objects i’ve piled in the center of my room and ask them each where they
my stuffed bunny. with my now-shaved head, we are both naked and new.
candles. as if crossing the border of religion frees him of his past, or gives
him access to ours.
the airport. its moving along beneath me, but i’ve lost my footing, and its
dragging me, scraping me apart as others stand so calmly heading toward their
his hand. he glances vaguely
dinner. i ask why. he tells me he likes me, wants to get to know me. i stop
answering his calls.
are white. i’m not angry at you, he spits, i’m angry at your disease.
what will i be without this fractured electricity whirling around my body who will i be without you to
bring me to life how will i
know myself? in the morning i remember the Beatles. i hear them deep within my story and as i listen i remember: I love the Beatles i love to laugh at my own
jokes i’d love to embrace
fully without savage tongues or suspended reality i find myself to be a woman scared scarred
and beautiful. and it is this constant this one unalterable truth about myself that enables me for one unguarded moment to lean over the edge of
uncertainty to spread my
arms and fall in
ear, my friend tells me: i’m thinking
of checking out a meeting.
your arm tight around my ribcage
this is the feeling of your thigh soft beneath mine i
sense my consciousness escaping
it’s not safe to be here
exposed from so much
more than clothes this
is the feeling of your heartbeat
gentle against my back
this is the feeling of your lips pressed sleepy at my shoulder i
want to detach to run away
from myself to leave my
body leave just two bodies base discardable
this is the feeling of your hand twining firmly into mine this is the feeling of my body
melting into yours but i am human
and you are human naked and safe here i breathe
right this time you don’t
wish it were any different
and you don’t come back for more.