I saw your parents’ car parked outside the gas station six afternoons ago and wondered nothing about you, I remembered those days when arsenic formed in the back of my throat whenever someone said your name and, and today I can’t remember what poison tastes like. I remembered wishing you were something I could forget and realized I couldn’t say which side of the bed you prefer to sleep in.
I remembered grinding my teeth the night you said you didn’t love me anymore but I can’t remember loving you and I am not sorry.
(I’m not sure I pronounced everything right because I’m stoned and my tongue remembered english isn’t my first language)
This is adolescence and
this is how the final summer goes:
lightning seven seconds thunder.
It hurts like Del Rey and Antigua—like
God with shut eyes
(palm trees, coyotes, vertebrae snapping)—
with glass bottles and ripped rubber and
balloons bursting blood.
It hurts at sixteen and sixty-one;
your mother told you this already, girl,
you should have been prepared.
When it hits you you will reach enlightenment—
you will realize you’ve eaten all the boys
and all the other girls
and you will burn like Carthage
—Curie & Plath—
swishing ions & iambs in your mouth,
vomiting vodka into the sink—
becoming a woman before you can think.
some nights boys touch girls
but mostly they touch themselves
jamming tissues into underwear and
breathing novels into telephone static
the way their parents wish they did
back in summer ‘56. in august when
the mermaids slip away the boys run wild
into an orchard of stars, rivers of blood
and milk, blue silk sky,
shots of cheap liquor on a Friday night.
it wasn’t this way a decade ago
it won’t be like this again it’s weird how
boys these days are islands:
they split away they float aimlessly and you can never
bring them back.
A Silvio le faltaba el dedo meñique de la mano izquierda
y en los domingos contaba las hojas de el limonero en el patio
de la catedral en la esquina de Lopez Mateos y la segunda.
Los Jueves, cuando salía de la clase de rezos,
con la biblia abajo del brazo derecho y la blusa abrochada
hasta el cuello y los zapatos lustrados y negros,
se sentaba debajo de el almendro en el parque de su
escuela y contaba las semillas caídas en el lodo.
No le digas a nadie,
Silvio esta estudiando los árboles
para que le crezca el dedo como sus flores.
Do you remember the day the gypsies came through town?
I dreamt of a purple hill each night since then,
found red wild seeds in my tea,
sang with the morning birds, and
realized I had no memory of your face.
The day the gypsies came through town
you were coughing up regret and blood,
lying to yourself about your old bible,
crying salty toxic tears, and in all your memories
they replaced all those teethy smiles
with flowers on their faces.
It’s not “katherine”
It’s kate who scribbles down
enough poems and thoughts
the fingers in her right hand
are not blistered anymore,
it’s calloused skin that reminds
her there are another thousand
words she did not say about
how repugnant a boy’s hands
It’s kate who can’t hold her
liquor well and it shows in the
kisses she gives out to those
who will receive them.
Lately it’s been the lips who resemble
the pair that she can’t kiss who
are on the other end of the kissing.
she won’t call you tomorrow.
It’s not just kate,
it’s kissing kate, too.
and it is without you
so when the day comes
where it is
you and full of you
i will breath your
keep it deep down
the bottom of my lungs
and save it for
a day that is
and it is without you
Two Facts on Nicotine Dependence
(and proof I am a fire hazard)
By: Ana O.
Over half of smokers quit by adulthood.
I light cigarettes as frequently as flies die by your mom’s porch in east baton rouge. The bugs that did live kept me awake through the sweaty nights and your mom knew. Her nightdress grazed our bedroom door and her soft footsteps were my queue to meet her in the dark woods. She walked in front of me, her bare feet gently stepping over the grass and the mud and the thin hairs on the rocks at the bottom of the river. The moon rays that shone off her long gray hair made all the bugs dizzy and we sat with our feet in the water to watch their wings touch the fog on the ground. After she found the tree with the thickest trunk we drank the thawed mist on its leaves and I forgot what adulthood meant. I doubt I will be an adult able to resist the need for a cigarette when remembering the Louisiana brume in your mother’s eyes.
If you quit by the time you are thirty your lungs will look no different than a non-smoker’s.
Does one inherently reach adulthood by turning thirty? If I quit binge drinking by the time I am thirty will my liver be as rusty as that of a non-drinker’s? My bones and prayers will still be crooked even if adulthood was to come holding the hand of a pair of pink lungs, won’t they? Will it matter if my lungs are clean when the walls of my trachea are scarred and torn? Is it a big difference for the insides of my veins to be lined with regret than for my lungs to be full of dust? My lungs can be saved from the tar stains but can my innocence be saved from adulthood before thirty?
victoriousmurphy answered: I love you, Ana. You’re beautiful, your voice is beautiful, your words are beautiful. You’re the greatest.
Ken, i love you and you’re making me tear up.
I forgot your name
how to pronunce the secrets sleeping
in the back of your moth eaten molars
I forgot the sound
how to shut it off- the tick, ticking
of my essence falling into your sheets
(I know it’s 4 in the morning, i’m sorry)
anyways, I went to an open mic last friday and everyone’s performance was about love-making (a disclaimer for my introductory joke)
I read this poem of mine, but skipped the second paragraph.
Let me know what you think!