I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in this same place. But it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I fall in…it’s a habit…but my eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down a different street.
Precariously, God stacked your atoms,
crafting a bright, broken creature,
loving it in the dark.
they say that humans
are meant to be nomads
because babies sleep best
when they’re rocked
at walking pace
i don’t know if that’s right
but sometimes i get that feeling
that if right now
i put on my sneakers
and walked out the door
i could go forever
I say, ‘I am fat.’
He says ‘No, you are beautiful.’
I wonder why I cannot be both.
He kisses me
My college theater professor once told me
that despite my talent,
I would never be cast as a romantic lead.
We do plays that involve singing animals
and children with the ability to fly,
but apparently no one
has enough willing suspension of disbelief
to go with anyone loving a fat girl.
I daydream regularly
about fucking my boyfriend vigorously on his front lawn.
On the mornings I do not feel pretty,
while he is still asleep,
I sit on the floor and check the pockets of his skinny jeans for motive,
for a punchline,
for other girls’ phone numbers.
When we hold hands in public,
I wonder if he notices the looks —
like he is handling a parade balloon on a crowded sidewalk;
if he notices that my hands are now made of rope.
Dear Cosmo: Fuck you.
I will not take sex tips from you
on how to please a man you think I do not deserve.
He tells me he loves me with the lights on.
I can cup his hip bone in my hand,
feel his ribs without pressing very hard at all.
He does not believe me when I tell him he is beautiful.
Sometimes I fear the day he does will be the day he leaves.
The cute hipster girl at the coffee shop
assumes we are just friends
and flirts over the counter.
I spend the next two weeks
mentally replacing myself with her
in all of our photographs.
When I admit this to him
we spend the evening taking new photos together.
He will not let me delete a single one of them.
The phrase “Big girls need love too” can die in a fire.
Fucking me does not require an asterisk.
Loving me is not a fetish.
Finding me beautiful is not a novelty.
I am not a fucking novelty.
I say, ‘I am fat.’
He says, ‘No. You are so much more’,
and kisses me
but imagine just leaving one night and flying to jamaica or france or italy or australia or south korea or somewhere and not telling anyone where you are or where you’re going next (but making sure to call your mom at least once a week to let her know that you’re still alive and no you’re not coming home soon and no this isn’t about a boy it’s about you and how you need to not feel like the walls are closing in around you anymore) and sending postcards from all over to people who spent their whole lives wrapped like shackles around your ankles and not signing them but instead writing lines from hemingway novels or dickinson poems or maybe just writing “fuck you” and letting them wonder about the postmarks and wonder about you and hoping they feel sick to their stomach when they think about their mediocre lives and maybe you’ll end up changing your name and working in a flower ship on the coast of spain (even though high school spanish really, really didn’t prepare you for this) and you’ll go down to the beach every night and dig your hands into the sand and finally, finally feel like you can breathe.
Fishermen at Ballyshannon
Netted an infant last night
Along with the salmon.
An illegitimate spawning,
A small one thrown back
To the waters. But I’m sure
As she stood in the shallows
Ducking him tenderly
Till the frozen knobs of her wrists
Were dead as the gravel,
He was a minnow with hooks
Tearing her open.
She waded in under
The sign of the cross.
He was hauled in with the fish.
Now limbo will be
A cold glitter of souls
Through some far briny zone.
Even Christ’s palms, unhealed,
Smart and cannot fish there.
I’ve been told
that people in the army
do more by 7:00 am
than I do
in an entire day
but if I wake
at 6:59 am
and turn to you
to trace the outline of your lips
I will have done enough
and killed no one
in the process.