Grind

My thoughts are disasters.
I have coaxed them out of
rabbit holes, disappeared
into imaginary cigarettes,
beer bottles, a tongue’s
sad music. All of my friends
tell me that a depressed body
is a working body. Years,
I have tried to inhabit
their hatred. Whatever
my hands touched became a
threat. Night, I could not
close a door without dreaming
myself on fire. There should be
something frighteningly
obvious about a girl
disintegrating into adulthood.
Every novel coaxes itself
into suicide, says you are not
alive until someone has talked
you off a building. I am
beginning to think that
happiness is not intelligent
enough for my small fictions.
It shuns the things that
threaten us, forgets about
what is not simple or linear.
Every poem wants to believe it
knows what love looks like
naked. You have studied my
work’s grotesqueness, memorized
the parts where flesh turns
into shadow. Too bad poems that
look and behave like porn never
caught on the way Madonna did,
back when she made a spectacle
out of herself by kissing
Britney Spears on MTV.
We are all capable
of that kind of lewdness.
Remember that time my
seventeen-year-old self wrote
a sonnet about blow jobs?
I would fuck someone right now
if sex could pay my rent.
There is no misery in one
night stands. It is only the
aftermath that forces us
back into our horrors.
You tell me my need for warmth is
a sign of mental illness.
All day, I have been reaching
for invisible flesh. For
cracked lights, for the bar brawl
that explains your vanishing.
Two years since we made out
and I am still wrapped
in my aches. Joey, if you are
drinking in a whorehouse
somewhere, then please know
that my anger is not this
three-eyed albatross
you have read about online.
It is instead created out of
a disapproval for what
happened in your apartment
that night, for the girl who
emptied herself into darkness
and did not not crawl out.

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