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January 1, 2024 Poetry

3 Poems

Amelia K.

3 Poems photo


I am (VERB ENDING IN -ING) to let you know that I cannot continue our relationship of (NUMBER <6) months. Although I have enjoyed our time together, I am uncomfortable thinking of what has been done to you, which I (SYNONYM FOR CAJOLED) you into telling me. I did not understand or like the books you lent me and I (TOSS A COIN: HEADS = WILL, TAILS = WON’T) return them. You are a (VAGUELY POSITIVE ADJECTIVE) woman and you deserve someone who will appreciate your good qualities, which I will not list. I hope that we can be friends someday.



We only know how to give
ourselves to each other when
we're anyone other than ourselves
which is why we're fucking as
a plague doctor and a hitman,
swarming the candy bowl
on your baby brother's dresser
for fuel. There was a mirror, perfunctory,
there was death, brisk, there was
your mouth smeared in
the crude rain of me,
a question I could not hear over the
sound of my own yes. If I were kind I would relieve you
of the smoothbore of my hunger. But I am not kind.
I am in love with you;
in two weeks I will check
the vacuum for your hair, in three
I will sit in your chair at our friend's wedding
with dark eyes glittering like an oil spill
not yet immune to the jerkwater salvation
of your heart's protected blue.



On the bus we told stories. My favorite was The Dress That Screamed. Once there was a woman who was of no interest until she married. She was rich and her husband was not. She was alive but a little arsenic in the well helps. So we all know he did it but we couldn’t prove it to nobody. What with everyone’s well having a taste of arsenic as it is. So when the new girl came and she was richer we all knew what would happen. Except it didn’t because when she hung the wedding dress in the window she said it all but turned and looked at her. Standing there like a woman. Said she couldn’t bring herself to put it on but as the days went on she couldn’t bring herself to even look at it. So she sticks it in the fire and it screams and screams and screams.

When my friend tells the story she leans so close I can taste her. And when it’s 5 years later and we’re grown and half of us are dropped out and the other half are staying here anyway, my friend isn’t part of either half because she played sports and got good grades. So when she leans in to ask me the question I know she’s gonna ask on account of her boyfriend I have a choice. I can find out once and for all what she tastes like and let it rot in me like I was a bad root cellar. I can say no and everyone will say but I thought you liked girls and boys. But I don’t say anything. I stand up and take my dress off and throw it into the pool. In the water there’s a sound that might be a sigh. In the bonfire the wood opens it eyes, clears its throat.