i’ve yet to see a woman as beautiful as
my mother applying her makeup in
the AM light— stood in our bathroom, blinds
diffusing ever so slightly.
always brown or grey clinique eye-
liner, always sharpened first, saying
black was too harsh while eyeing
my own black wings. watching that
ritual every day until hospice, i am reminded
to appreciate my self, to take that mental
personal day. shimmer and black liner and
mascara on my fingertips, a feeling of zen
and the hope to be as beautiful as
she was, every morning.
i’ve never had a normal experience on
the F train.
there is no dawn or twilight on the
subway platform, no seasons save for
dank. rats building homes with those
tiny hands, studiously locating pizza
crusts and hotdog nubs. the smell
permeates and wafts, choking me in
the summer months. thick humidity
you can cut with a knife, sweat dripping
down my calves and between my tits.
unrivalled is the intense pleasure i feel as
i wash the day off of me, peeled off in
damp layers, a pile of rubble on my floor.
you are a series of smoke and
mirrors, an emotional junk bond
where a man once was; or maybe
you were never really there
words tenuously strung together by
a simulation of humanity, i fell for it
(but not for you). hook line and
sinker seemed simple because you
seemed safe, a lustful port in an
overwhelming nor’easter. not a
sweet boy, not a fuck boy, but a
sad boy; the Much Worse
third thing. vapour and gauze and
blood and bruises. the mess you’ve
left behind before, shrouded in
mystery for a reason.
LA is a small town and you make
it feel even more minute. after all,
misery loves to tell company
to fuck off.
i never got to say goodbye to
my mother. though i felt her depart,
cinderblock on my chest at my then-
boyfriend’s house, cooking din. the
air felt different, alien in that moment
as if i had suddenly lost cabin pressure.
never gave much thought to the
homing beacon until that moment, when
i was pulled home. 911, right now, my
mind repeated like the emergency
broadcast system. the crunchy,
your fight or flight within
a second, autopilot fully engaged.
hugging my dad in the driveway because
the weight was too heavy for Inside.
how do we get to tomorrow?
i miss you and i wish i didn’t. seeing
you after so many months was akin to
being plunged into the january atlantic.
my entire body reacts to you still, even
from a distance where you are trying
your damndest Not to look at me. (me
you read things i’d heard before, in
another life in your bed. and
hearing your voice brought electric
twinges of sadness. i long for
a future where you’ll be around, where
things will be different between us,
better. fun. drunk. happy. no cold
words where once there was
but instead, you’re somehow more dis-
connected than i; broke but with no
fix. all i know is fixing, my whole
life. “approach everything like a problem,
you’ll be a hammer where every
fucking thing looks a nail. don’t be
so cynical, it’s unbecoming”, my
mother always told me when i was young
and dumb. i thought that it would save
me from being burned like that again,
but it only makes me distant. and right
now, i am cooked. of course, she was
right. wrapping yourself in cynicism
is a good way to drown. no more
stones in my pockets.
i wish you the best of
every damn thing. i hope you’ll
have me around someday