sit. down. good girl.
down, roll over
roll o v e r
paw! other paw! touch! touch!
sit! down! roll
girl good girl yes good girl
The medical school application strips me down to
my skeleton, flays my flesh and lays it open for inspection
organizes my organs by alphabetical order and importance to
white coat ceremony. I donate my brain, blood, and bone to medicine
hope I am a sufficient specimen for science; pray my heart still beats poetry
on the other side.
Maybe love is in a rainbow
in the shins of bumble bees
the corner of a snowstorm
where an iris buries deep
I'm a crushed lung in mourning
at night I breathe through my teeth
I'm stuttered by the feeling
of her ribs rising beneath me
Maybe love is the snowstorm
the sting of worker bees
in the oily rainbow of a puddle
a spring where flowers sleep
Who am I with you?
You reached into my chest & seized the tender parts of me
Trojan horsed your way past my walls
You could have crumbled me
You could have plundered me of all my secrets
But instead, you called me sister
Mayumi, my sister
You have made me better than I am
You’ve held a mirror to my face & given me bunny ears
How can I ever thank you for all the laughter?
My ribs rattled from it, that was only ever any pain
We linked arms & searched cities together
Planned out our expeditions for next time,
now that there won’t be a next time
I don’t know the steps forward
You had mapped those out for me
With you, I was someone’s sister, accomplice, best friend
Who am I without you?
I haven’t a clue where I go from here
From hurting, from loneliness, from without you
My past is myth
I need to eventually get up and write new legends
In them, every guide, mentor, and ally
They will all have your face
They will love with your heart
But your laugh?
I’ll hold that in my throat
& set it free
I still wake up like I'm dreaming
My hands still search the damp sheets for my phone
scrambling for evidence that
you're really gone.
Maybe you're a leg I slept on funny
numb and bloodless, but there
The last time we spoke was two weeks ago
perhaps only hours too early
and already much too late
The mechanical limbs turning
and virus searching the miles between our beds
I didn't say good night to you.
I carried you around in my pocket
not knowing that I'd open my eyes panting
out everything I still haven't said to you
only screen light smiling back
Death. To me. Is a period. At the end of a sentence or lodged between cervical vertebrae of one. A conclusion. I've been told. You are never done writing a poem. Revisions are iterative. A work is progress. Writing never rests. What then. Is a period. But a verb in flight.
less preferred kind
flakes in your fingers
a form of self-care
ruins your appetite
i won't cry
that is, i can't
i can't will the water to flow
there must be a backup upstream somewhere
ice? climate change frozen.
or drought? the bottoms of the rivers bloody with clay.
or maybe there is a fire
someone left the stove on while they slept
the whole forest dried up the waterways
trying to put it out
my tears are no emergency
Why is it
that when she takes the pills, we say, but
she was so young
Did her youth not give her the right to suffer?
we say, what
Did she not do enough time in her bones to deserve people missing her?
to earn an honorable discharge?
am I wrong to do this. to look at her instagram and
tag the ugliness
that sour shadow stretching out from her soles
staining the underside of her smile
pointed imitation of her in full view of an
unwitting audience to murder
maybe one day i'll remember the smell of her hair
today, i only know the blunt edge of her goneness
i'm at a funeral for her pain
Use the space below to tell us why you want to go to medical school.
The mountains look closer than they are
morning fog misting across the first teasing taste of sun
you could almost pluck a handful of cottony gas
following Appalachian tradition of reaching up at the sky
fingers barely scraping it
Used to be a farm, she told me
used to have a horse from Long Island and these trees,
all this brush and crap used to be gone
I plan to fix up these houses and convert the place into a
writers' retreat one day
There was a whistling in my ears and live coals licking
the walls of my chest
in all the movies, the audience knows better than to open a window
better burn than blow up, but
the character never does and never gets the chance
Small towns gossip like Zumba moms at the studio
the effort sweats out toxins and drinks in tea
each session a chance to pull bigger weights,
wear taller sneaks. Here, no one grows up;