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October 24, 2023 Poetry


Ebba Wiig

Homage photo

When Swedes are born, our guardians are given IKEA manuals.
The amorphous figures describe how to raise your child in a genderless society,
how to support a socially democratic economic system, and, of course, construct IKEA furniture.
For larger projects such as a bed or couch, IKEA always suggest a partner in building;
a solitary incorporeal figurine is X ed out indicating a lonely, somewhat impractical building experience
in those cases, a partner is beneficial.

We get up from the floor, a finished bed beneath us
You do that thing where you cock your head to the side, let out a half-laugh and through a grin you coyly state, “well, you must be
really grateful to have me here to help you with this. I can’t imagine the panic attack you would have trying to put this together
by yourself”

This is the most insulting thing a man has ever said to you.

He is talking about putting together an IKEA bed
A fucking IKEA bed.
Your Swedish bloodline boils inside you

Here, this man who has known you for 6 years seems to think you incapable of such a menial task
Here, this man says you can’t even build it yourself
Here, you stand and don’t say a fucking thing
Here, you shrink yourself to avoid conflict
Here, you say nothing.
Not a word.

One night in Eugene
We watched Midsommar with friends
Afterwards you sat in an existential silence

Outside, pulling on your cigarette you ask
“Would you put me in the bear suit”
Without hesitation
I respond

A boy without freckles is like the nightsky without stars
I didn’t love you at first
i loved your skin
i loved cradling your head between my thighs
running my hand through your hair down your neck
i loved tracing the constellations on your speckled skin
The Big Dipper across your inner bicep
a little scorpio tail across your pectoid dorsalis
in later years, the scars on your scapula
your angel wings ripped out
such devilish details

Down in Denver we meet to swap things
you’re an hour late
and I’m chain-smoking cigarettes looking over Sloan’s lake
the canada geese shittin' everywhere
when you finally arrive
we speak so intimately
that our tongues find each other again
your arms naturally wrap around my lower back
spit, saliva & tears
All the fluids exchanged

we forgive nothing
we forget nothing
we just ignore it
wasn’t that always the problem?

You just left my apartment
and i miss you so much that i cry
my physical body stripped of your presence
every inch of me longs for your existence
i haven’t felt this way about you in years
even before you left i longed for you
i said this to you and you said “I know”
I gaze outside to the river
The canadian flag in the distance
your touch still in my senses
when i glance at my phone i see that you feel the same
your message reads
“i miss you terribly, ebba”