I’m on my knees while Olive plaits my curls, a dozen candles flirting with the air in this small bedroom. Angie is leaning against the wall, pupils like eight balls, smiling at her fingertips. my mother called me last night or last week or last year she told me god came to her in a dream. The fridge is humming, inconsistent and Olive’s hands are quick. she told me that our dog ran away that my father cries in my room whenever he’s sober We shouldn’t be here, the sun dripping down the window, pyramids of light on Olive’s thighs. Someone patters in the other room, no choked sobs, no sacrifice for dewy mornings. Olive says my name soft and worn, like an old boot she isn’t sure fits. Angie knocks over a candle and her shirt catches on fire. For a moment, none of us move.
she submitted to us, we accepted her pieces, then i emailed her asking if she’d want to read and she said yes. btw she’ll be reading for us again at the nyc poetry festival next weekend so if you’re in new york, definitely come out!
Cherry Girl, with the long tongue, and the new buzzcut, and the hips like butter, rolls off the sleeping man, wipes her mouth, shoots him in the gut. She read once that bile kills you faster than the bullet. That it spreads, infectious, into your kidneys, your lungs, up into your throat. You should never kiss a corpse. Cherry Girl knows this well. In an apartment in Brooklyn, and Angie was tripping over her mouth and her arms and legs and laughing bumblee songs, and Cherry Girl let her sleep. In an apartment in Brooklyn, and Huck called, came in and starting kissing her and pushing her, murmuring Cherry Cherry, eyes closed and Cherry didn’t know who he was imagining, who he was really kissing. She tells him they need to stop, and he opens wide, sees someone else, Angie or his father or Hercules or all three, his fist hard against her cheek, back cracking against the wall. Cherry Girl lets him touch her and hit her, and only feels the bruises once he’s gone. Morning in Brooklyn, and Cherry Girl shaves her head, asks Marie for a gun. She calls Huck. He answers on the second ring.
A poem for when I see you in the passenger side window and don’t stop. A poem for summer, lush and salt, and I break dishes in bathroom stalls to stop my hands from shaking.
My car has no brakes and in dreams, I crack the ribs of deer over and over. Walking on eggs dyed blue and green like Vietnam dusk. A palm open to the sky. A dirty towel on my chest, eyes ravens and wood wide.
Hunger deep like September grass and my thighs and my fists. When I blink, I find trailer park dreams: a face that’s no longer my own, a love that has grown beyond me. Butter knives. Wet petals beneath my tongue. Too far gone out to sea to ever come back.
Knotting my thousand tongue words in a way that drowns summer, gives my hands purpose, gives me something to think about other than television static and paint stains. Voice like a sutured wound, and still, I go to playgrounds and give sigh-eyed boys finch kisses by the swing set.
A bathroom stall, white mouthed girls heaving.
A bathroom stall, and you aren’t touching me anymore.
Olive, with a gun in her mouth. My nails, scratching at the trigger. Lean thighs in a battered Corolla in the junkyard. After, clouds falling from the sky, and Olive and I doused it in gasoline. The match lit on her arm, smoke trailing us for miles. After, Olive pulls against the tides, and we are frozen in the parking lot, the dead boy forever mid-air, blue and red lights blaring by the tarmac. Olive, in the supermarket and I pocket wheels of cheese and she asks questions, her shirt riding up what if we could hold our breath forever what if Fox doesn’t bury the clothes what if we went to 36th our knees kissing brick visit the grave again and I remember what this is: her mouth ripped into a horrible grin, blood dripping down my face, skinned rabbits and all. Fox and Cherry Girl and Angie and Olive and Olive and Olive and I. In the car, her face close to the window, looking straight ahead into the lights.
theme by: heloísa teixeira