At the Confectionery: A Poem


Troye_Sivan

i think it’s because of this–the strawberry cheeks,
the cocoa freckles, the white chocolate hair
drizzled lazily on top; the wrists of vanilla,
the faces of unkempt peach; the honeydew singsong, low
as coffee, the caffeine fingertips
on anaemic knees; the weight of flavors
on the tongue, on the mind; the alleged toffee,
the truthful brittle. it’s because
of this–the caramel on our hands,
the tantalizing paste, the brown-paper promises,
the way they crinkle in our palms, the way
they tumble into the trash–it’s because of this
that we mistake danger
for mint, sweet syrup of the mouth
for honesty, sugary glazes
for shining spirit.
it’s because of this that we take
those steps to the counter, press
our aspirations into the glass, and, like a handful
of glistening cherries, murmur,
“This one.”

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Imaginary Weddings: A Poem


After Lisel Mueller

tumblr_m275j2PK161rn4n67o1_500

1. HOW I WOULD MARRY ROMANCE
Under a sky smiling wildflowers, the off-white lace
isn’t quite right. It crumbles in my hand—nothing
in comparison to the kiss-pink petals
drifting downwards—nothing at all.
I love nothing else.

2. HOW I WOULD MARRY OBSESSION
In a white church adorned with clean glass mirages
of the Virgin Mary, sun trickles in
like an acidic summer rain. The pews
are freshly waxed, and weary
from eons of heaving use.

3. HOW I WOULD MARRY SELF-HATRED
A pen on the prenup papers. Perhaps
a petition for custody is called for, but the children
have runny noses and look altogether
too much like their father.
A sports car comes to heart; a shiny new boyfriend
along with it; diamond-red flashes
of crystalline escape.

4. HOW I WOULD MARRY SELF-LOVE
A naked embrace
among granted dandelion breezes
and warm daisies. A bride of self
unlearning her issues with impurity.
No one else showed up today, but for the first time
it’s okay, it’s okay.

5. HOW I WOULD MARRY YOU
After wringing my fingers, I take
your hand. My skin is soap, my fears
a leaky faucet, but you don’t mind. Your smile
is my achievement; mine, yours,
and we send ourselves soaring
beneath rice geysers
and rose-garden hopes.

6. HOW I WOULD MARRY TIME
Caressing lockets, learning new laugh lines,
we are afraid to enter the room.
But the corridor is black behind us, and there is light
on the other side—so we hide
our trepidations beneath white skirts
and smirking suit coats, and
we
push
onwards.

The Backseat Speaks: A Poem


After Sandra Beasley

volvo-s60-backseat

When they made me,
their hands were not caressing love. Their fingers
worked needles, left me in stitches,

but they weren’t like her, now, giggling,
you in her palms, making a manger of me.
It wasn’t long before this

that he took us over to the side of the road,
swerving snowstorm knuckles, sweating hurricane worries.
And she knew you, even then,

even as she wept, glee and misery, just minutes
ago, before she learned you
with starlight hands, meeting your eyes and your cries.

Now he stands above the scene,
observing your Madonna,
the one that I cradle, his face

a round moon among yellow lamp galaxies,
smiling anxiety,
because here you are

melting onto my loveless leather, knowing
what I will never know–
I am gray as ever, but you

are swimming life colors, and she
keeps you for her own, forever,
sighing promises that I can only overhear.