When you tell me to stop watching Bojack Horseman, that’s when I know it’s love
O! You love me while I cry.
There are captions inside me I haven’t
strung into song yet. Love is a sky
too bright! I can’t look it in the eye!
O! Eclipse me! For you I would drink
the most flamin’ mountain dew.
For you I would change the channel!
O! There is nothing more beautiful
than sharing a dumpster couch with you,
our little vacuum of time. O!
When we collapse to Cheeto dust, we will finally
be able to touch each other
the way we’ve always wanted.
O! O! O! We remain.
I’m lonely in the sense that everyone knows
my name but no one wants to say it. I just wish
someone would ask me what I’ve wanted all along:
to live in a lake & never grow taller than the water.
To pronounce myself as a family of coral.
But I am lonely as forever, lonely as infinite,
as natural sequences, as order, as Google.
I do take comfort in the lack of a lonely growth;
I can’t wake up to more lonely unhoused bones.
Everyone I’ve ever met has their own least favorite elegy.
Mine tastes like soap in my throat & lives forward
& forward like a wheel goes around its axle. I’m okay!
I’m still sad, though. Say hello if you pass me on the streets.
We can talk about disappearing. We can lay on the floor & dream
of becoming black holes. In my favorite someday, I meet someone
who recognizes me instantly. It’s ridiculous, but beautiful.
I donate clothes to thrift stores & pass pieces of me
on to someone else. Am I making less of myself?
I don’t know, but I wear two shades of bright dresses
in case someone compliments the top layer,
& I can gift it to them right off my chest.
If my bedroom’s a mess it’s because my heart’s
stamped on too many of my things, & I can’t decide
who should own the quilted throws of me. PSAs always say
that giving away prized possessions is a sign
for suicide but every time I’ve passed down my best
belongings, they’ve been material stand-ins for my soft
chirrups of misremember me if you want, but you could use this.
When I want to die, the wren in me searches for high places
& considers eating soap. I’ve lifted my bones to ledges
of buildings & turned back around. I’ve called my mother
& told her of the water, how all along my life
there’s been a river & a dive I’ve never followed down
& we’ve both agreed, alright, then. We’ll look somewhere else.
The massive Neopets omelette was actually anti-capitalist
All those years I was too depressed to feed
my Neopets, they never actually died.
I could always bring them back to life
with a free piece of egg & cheese.
Heaven to me was how, even in my neglect,
I kept my pets, even when I couldn’t care
for myself. When I don’t hunger much
& my therapist blames my depression
I say smorgasbord over & over to summon
a dream of abundance & some reason to eat.
In the end I always turn to breads with holes
born to be this hollow & this whole.
When I imagine decomposing, the way
I want to go is through one final nourishment,
supplying my cats & my plants. My body breaks
wide & they’re all over my open, grazing
through red. It’s free. There’s no charge
no matter how much they need fed.
& no cops find my body. No one knows I’m gone.
They just notice how healthy the philodendron
looks & how the cats have grown so long.
BURY ME IN MY COMPUTER, SPREAD MY PIXELS BEHIND THE WIRES.
I tell Téa how my post went viral on tumblr only after
deactivating & she says it’s like publishing poetry posthumously,
& how we could both turn famous once we die. I do still want to
return to Tumblr just for the drama of resurrection: I thank the people
who waited for me all these years & say hi. But honestly
all my favorite people know I’m still alive. I just crave the strangers
who once reblogged my posts to adore me again & again, like a motor
turning over. I do still measure myself in past tense, my bad.
Anyone who misses the old me believes I’m still trying to go back,
& some nights I believe it, too, so I lay in bed & listen to “The Funeral”
& pretend this is it, I’ve lasted long enough, everyone who loved me knew me
wrong. Or not. I have some faith that I am more than a bottle of blood, that if you hung me
up, there’d be a crowd livestreaming beneath me, crying
O! What a gorgeous day for mourning. I remain because I must.
When I die, my body will exhume love like dust.
It will spring out as petals & be hard to inhale. O!
Everyone will hate the scents of rotten flowers that should’ve been
plastic, but I’ve always been too sincere.
ALL MY FRIENDS KNOW I’M BROKEN, WE FOLLOW EACH OTHER ON SPOTIFY.
Some nights I want a public death. I want
to have a funeral under a fragile moon with lavender
and people who care about me but have names
I don’t care enough to ever remember. I want
my therapist to listen to my midnight playlists with me
so she knows who she’s up against. I would die for many people
because I love untransactionally. I honestly prefer soft
economies where we trade biggest intimacies.
My secret is that I would wear my bones on my sleeves
if I didn’t get disapproving looks on the streets. I’m not perfect
but I would live naked if I could. Strangers could call me
crybaby and I’d thank them for the kindness. I’m grateful
for the internet because no one else understands me.
I tell all of this over the phone to Madison, who doesn’t listen
to Mitski, and that’s the difference between us;
I’m no longer ashamed of my desire.
Sonnet to Consider Living
We listen to Harmony Hall in the car
& I sing louder with I don’t wanna live like this,
but I don’t wanna die. There are no good words
for suicide. Sun pearls my arm, loose
on the car window. It’s spring & I won’t
romanticize dying, though I do want a way to say
I want to die without making anyone cry.
As I unroll the window I hold my fingers through the running
air & let March mother me, brush my body
tenderly. I didn’t mean to write a love poem
but the love keeps happening, despite
all my attempts to leave. No one notices
when I sing louder; the moment passes anonymously.
It’s okay. I look for language to name me.
I fell in love with the institution
so I married the institution. The institution wouldn’t sleep in bed with me, would only fuck me in the wrong way. When I ate ham & eggs I ate alone. When I brought the institution its favorite black coffee, the institution would set it on the side table & mumble a slight that’s nice, thank you. In glimpses of joy I would remind the institution of its wedding dress & the institution would say it actually hated all that lace, the white washed out its opaque face. After dinners the institution let me scrub all the dishes & before sleeps I brushed its hair. I missed what the institution & I once shared. I remembered playing marriage on swingsets & dreaming of the institution. I remembered kissing the institution in my beat-up car under spreads of stars & the institution loving me back. I tried to pinpoint when that love went bad. It was the moment I told the institution I’d give it all I had & it was all I’d ever want. It was the moment I thought I was enough.
A group of fireflies is called a sparkle
but I believe we could rename it for the better.
A flashmob. A disco. Phrasing only we fully know.
Light, I swear it’s the last time I’ll say this
& then I’ll let you grow alone, I’ll go, but
you made me want to voice an O every morning,
to crush on everything: your nose, dead bees,
any living creature that would listen to me sing.
I don’t even sing! But with you I loved boundlessly.
O, the gorgeous swell of your breath; O, the pink
feeling I felt when we first met; O, how I’ll never forget
any petals of delight even in my ache. O, O, O,
the multitudes, the swarm & shimmer, how I would yell
at clouds for you: damn their fluff! Fuck their gloom!
I would O at any matter for you. I would go vicious
& attack every bird that shits in your path. Pummel feathers
into bedsheets for you, I swear, I swear. I have to
ask: were we not each other’s grass?
I thought we stemmed from the same seed. I miss
plucking your hair in my dreams, speaking
of roaches but meaning we shared a love
that was abiding, one I couldn’t fathom but tried
to dive in. I want you to know I’m still
swimming. I’m still alive in it.
flaming hot cheetos (reprise)
in the bunker claire crunches out a speech // how we are bigger than our bodies // wheeling toward a victory // a fleet of motorcycles five hundred feet away // and it doesn’t matter where we go because we aren’t dying alone anymore // come and gather, girls // this fight’s what we were born for // she busts into the sun // knives blazing into wide jaws // fresh blood // bandana crust // run she says to us // between silver bursts into skin // so we race towards the metal // kick the bikes back as claire cries how we will be remembered // the world will know us by our red hands // they will know us by our dust