Two Poems


There’s a storm cellar dug into a hill beside your childhood
home. You took me there once. Until then, we had been girls.
You tried to show me the black freckle on your left thigh
and the dried flowers in the rusted out washbasin. It was too dark
to see, and you moved my hands far beneath the dirt
to make me understand. You told me about your last appointment
with the psychiatrist. His theory on girl brains and girl trauma.
The emotional landscape of 1992. You told me about all the times
you could have just died. I couldn’t see your mouth
and knew you couldn’t see mine. Impossible. Unforgivable.
You thought they made you. You told me about a dream
you had I was in that meant we were forgiven. In your dreams,
I have green eyes and swan dive from windowsills.
I don’t wake up gutted with the taste of antiseptic and liquid
charcoal. In your dreams, you love me terribly, I am so romantic.
You never did anything wrong, but I forgave you anyway.


Now, Now

I want you now, want you the way light through curtains
leaves patterns on doorframes, the way Queen Anne’s lace
only grows next to dirt roads and chain link fences. I want
you now, the way furniture sits in a room, the way fingernails
leave scratches on bureaus, headboards, banisters. The way
he says, I love you, you poisonous bitch, you psycho cunt,
the way eating too many currants makes you sick, the way
black flies only know brutal, deranged fucking and death.