WE TALK ABOUT EATING FLOWERS
Delphiniums crunch like rock candy
& daffodils taste like Reese’s cups.
Most of the flavors are obvious enough,
but the hibiscus outstands us. At a loss
we gossip about its petals & how we’d roll
them up so they’d make a jawbreaker
in our cheek, but that doesn’t feel right,
maybe they would taste like feet. I’ve kissed
other girls but none of them have let me laugh into
their mouths like you do. I’ve loved moments
but never my life & now look, I can say it’s nice,
I’ve never felt an ache so big that I couldn’t point to
a tulip & find meaning, or both of our lips coming
together as we crunch separate ends of a stem.
THE FIRST & LAST PERSON TO DISCOVER HEARTBREAK WAS ME
I never know if it’s better to feel loneliness or unity in heartbreak.
I want to feel especially broken; I want to hold a stranger’s pinkie
beneath bathroom walls because we’re both weeping in separate stalls.
But then I can’t unlock the door, so I consider spending my whole life
on the toilet bowl, hips numb as I sit that age alone, with cell
service but not willing to phone my mom because she’ll tell me
I need to come back home. & I’ll tell her I want to wear eyeliner
now so that people know when I’m most vulnerable; I want
to undress to blank bones. & she’ll say I am too sweet & sick
& I can’t keep living my life like a poem. It’s written beautifully,
but the ending never ends well, everyone escapes but me.
It’s okay, though terrifying. I love too much & won’t let
go of that mercy. Besides, the world would be boring
if it clung to my knees, if it always stayed to care for my body.
NO ONE ASKED FOR ME, BUT HERE I AM
I was lonely in the best way.
A trail followed me down each road.
Its treasure wasn’t mine but I cared for it.
Every lover I once loved dropped some dusty thing:
a notebook, knife shavings, a holiness, me.
& isn’t want just collecting belongings?
Which is why I adore people crying. They drop
pieces of themselves right in front of me, & I can see
which pieces they’re missing. Usually
requited desire. God I’m weightless.
We’re all just hoping the darkness parts itself
on our drunk walks home, aren’t we?
We’re all seeing the shape of lonely right in front of us
& traipsing through its cloud trying to grasp it
with both our hands. Life is about learning
possession, I’m sorry. To intimately know
your own sadness as magic. To own a body.
unplugging the internet at the end of the world
I’ve traveled to space for this
humble death, & the quiet astronauts
were right—everything lonelies,
the stars spinning in graves big as moon
I don’t know why I’m killing the connection–
I wanted to be a god but not like this—
before the geometry gives
I rip off my unpleasant suit
and pet the corroded wires
cutting my cord,
there goes my desire
all the little people yearn below me
I understand rust as a symptom
of longing—if i can be anything,
please strip me naked
NO ONE ASKED FOR ME, BUT HERE I AM
Lonely needs a new name, some word
that terrifies, like a fire—I want to scream
HELP! I’M LONELY! so a crowd piles my bones
on a stretcher & carries me past all the body traffic together.
I crave vulnerability so ribbed it’s disgusting,
like a dead deer on the road, dirt-freckled & bloody.
I desire my funeral because I’ve always wanted
a procession of strangers to touch me. See, I can be
both pretty & wanting—wearing my lipstick,
heels on, posing for you, my arches cracking—
not on purpose. I was just born like this & grew tired
of changing, the way a sunflower exhausts itself
vaulting towards light & eventually decides to wilt.
Ask if I’m alone; my answer echoes. It always will.
PEPTO BISMOL MAKES ME LONELY
With you gone, I’m the loneliest girl at the grocery store.
I watch pairs of strangers buy over-the-counter remedies
for their flushed stomachs that speak to each other in sleep.
Mine knots into itself, has no one who will listen
to how it laces alone each week, turning tight bow,
then loose string, then hitching back into double bends.
You didn’t love me; you left me, when we could’ve lived
in joint bathrooms together, feet on salmon tiles as we sat
doors-down on toilet bowls, our stomachs tethered by strange sewage
systems & soap. Now I own only one medicine cup & my gut turns less.
But my secret is that when I miss you, I drink crates of dairy
milk instead of oat. I look at Pepto Bismol & see
its brightness, that sickly pink, how I used to carry it
in my purse for you so no one would know when you needed it.
Even with you gone, I still wish I could give you that love.
I would’ve drank the bottle for you. I would’ve thrown up.
YOU STILL FUNCTION LIKE YOU USED TO
Spotify clocks me as lonely again. All my friends blend Tumblr grunge & Tinder want. I tell myself it’s okay to not know the difference between loves because I adore everyone too much no matter what. I’m still obsessing over 2017 when the downtown skies blinked pink & I told strangers I loved them so bad! I can’t kiss anyone I don’t want well; I can’t fake my desire. Most of my body gives me away—I want to act cool but parts of me still blush how they used to. My mom wants me to take therapy more seriously; my dad wants me to learn from the economy. He says I supply with no demand & oversaturate my friends. I argue that the problem is always inflation; my heart airs up & floats far from my hands.
When you tell me to stop watching Bojack Horseman, that’s when I know it’s love
O! You love me while I cry.
There are captions inside me I haven’t
strung into song yet. Love is a sky
too bright! I can’t look it in the eye!
O! Eclipse me! For you I would drink
the most flamin’ mountain dew.
For you I would change the channel!
O! There is nothing more beautiful
than sharing a dumpster couch with you,
our little vacuum of time. O!
When we collapse to Cheeto dust, we will finally
be able to touch each other
the way we’ve always wanted.
O! O! O! We remain.