Want

September 17, 2019

She wants a house full of cups and the ghosts
of last century’s lesbians; I want a spotless
apartment, a fast computer. She wants a woodstove,
three cords of ash, an axe; I want
a clean gas flame. She wants a row of jars:
oats, coriander, thick green oil;
I want nothing to store. She wants pomanders,
linens, baby quilts, scrapbooks. She wants Wellesley
reunions. I want gleaming floorboards, the river’s
reflection. She wants shrimp and sweat and salt;
she wants chocolate. I want a raku bowl,
steam rising from rice. She wants goats,
chickens, children. Feeding and weeping. I want
wind from the river freshening cleared rooms.
She wants birthdays, theatres, flags, peonies.
I want words like lasers. She wants a mother’s
tenderness. Touch ancient as the river.
I want a woman’s wit swift as a fox.
She’s in her city, meeting
her deadline; I’m in my mill village out late
with the dog, listening to the pinging wind bells, thinking
of the twelve years of wanting, apart and together.
We’ve kissed all weekend; we want
to drive the hundred miles and try it again.

Joan Larkin

Someone to

September 15, 2019

I just want someone to grab my tits and tell me I’m pretty.
Actual words I saw on instagram.
Let’s break that statement down.
Someone to grab my tits
And by that I mean
Someone to love me so much they can’t keep their hands off of me
And by that I mean
Someone to want me or at least tell me that they do
And by that I mean
Someone to make me believe that I am worth a fuck
Even if that is all I am worth.
We break girls down into pretty girls and smart girls as if they are mutually exclusive.
Movies brandish the before and after of makeovers so much we can’t help
Glancing in the mirror and only ever seeing ourselves as a before.
So I will drag myself out of bed
Thirty minutes earlier
So I can paint concealer under my eyes (to hide the purple circles)
And onto my chin (to eliminate that red shine that makes it stick out)
And all over my nose (so I don’t look like rudolf when I scratch it and my sensitive skin acts up)
To coat my blonde lashes with layer after layer of ebony paint (to keep me from looking like a sick victorian child)
I will drag myself out of bed
Ten minutes earlier
To try on one outfit (But not that one, it makes my stomach look huge)
To try on two outfits (But not that one, it makes my breasts look smaller than they already are)
To try on three outfits (But not that one, six people told me it looks slutty)
To try on four outfits (Just throw on a hoodie, but that’s the only time you can wear it this week.)
And sometimes?
Three hours earlier
To cry over that assignment I can’t figure out
And to comb through the pages of my backbreaking book for an answer to a problem I’ll never need
To wonder if maybe gagging myself until bile rises in my throat
Until an empty stomach burns in my nose and the nausea hits me like a punch in the everywhere.
Would be easier than going to school
But no one sees that.
They only see me
Fixing my makeup up in bathroom mirror before lunch
And so they throw words as hard as they can
They aim for my heart, using every colourful hallway adjective they’ve heard
Or maybe the words the voice inside calls them
I’d be lying if I said that these words that didn’t haunt me
and follow me
And effect my every action
But I refuse to let them know that
I refuse to let them drag me down simply because they cannot fly
If I’m going to be an Icarus, fucking that’s a good way to go.
fucking, that’s a way to be remembered.
Even if I’m a cautionary tale, at least I got to see the sun.
If you call me a try hard I will say maybe you’re just not trying hard enough
If you call me high maintenance, I will say that it’s better than looking like you.
But when I express how much this hurts to my friend, he pulls a movie Ron Weasley and says
“Well, it’s kinda right.” and proceeds to make fun of me for doing my best
For those sleepless nights kept awake by the light of my laptop.
For shoving a toothbrush up my throat and hating myself for not being able to go through with it.
For raising my hand when the teacher holds up the tightrope I teetered along.
For trying.
I just want someone to tell me I’m pretty.
I just wish I didn’t need someone to tell me I’m pretty.

Kateasz

High winds

September 12, 2019

High winds
like beating wings
at the edges of the air
while you
wild as any wind
draw me to you.

Tigers

September 6, 2019

What are we now but voices
who promise each other a life
neither one can deliver
not for lack of wanting
but wanting won’t make it so.
We cling to a vine
at the cliff’s edge.
There are tigers above
and below. Let us love
one another and let go.

Eliza Griswold

absolute love

September 4, 2019

To understand absolute love is to realise you are a more than a message scribbled in darkness.

The darkness inside

September 3, 2019

Oh, yes, we must accept it. The darkness inside. We must live with it and learn from it and recognise it in others. If we can’t love the darkness inside ourselves, then how the hell can we love the darkness in another? For truth to tell, boys & girls, there is darkness in all of us –

secret colours

September 1, 2019

Draw me with your fingertips, lover, face and body too. Here, on my lips paint the colour of love. Without mercy, sketch me, revise me just for you, painting, of course, the secret colours hidden inside my heart. And with those same fingertips enclose and trap my soul –

when you fuck a poem

August 31, 2019

her ink is wrapped around
your limbs like
tattoos of who is
written into you

stains stuck to the page
then transferred to your skin
stanzas scattered
across the floor
lines divided

creating sounds no linguist
has ever heard

your screams will be
songs with no shape

let her taste you solid
as a consonant
let her make you soft
as a vowel

with your mouth wide open
swallow every syllable

drip like coffee
when the morning’s long
and the writing won’t stop

spill a little
then soak
until you are two pages
pressed together

pin her by the corners and
recline between her lines

when she moans it will sound like
“you’re my title now”

Gowri Koneswaran

until you break

August 31, 2019

Yes, I’ll do this until you break – not break like a china doll roughly handled, but like the waves on a moonlit beach.

P

What you have

August 29, 2019

You should love what you have, boys & girls, before life teaches you to love that which you have lost.