not quite panic

it is like sandpaper on wrists, like
finding a small dead thing
on your body and knowing
it has to stay.

it is like molars grinding insulation, like
the cardboard part of the toilet
paper roll found its way into the throat.

it is like digesting lightbulbs, like
threads wrapped around intestine –
pulled tight enough, thin string cuts
almost anything.

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(Old poem) / Write More?

I found a very rambling version of this poem while reading through my journal from February/March-ish. I think I never really edited it and put it up because I ended up stealing from it for a bunch of different poems – there were several parts that I like, which I ended up recycling into other things. So I never put up the original. But when I found it today I thought I might as well!

Also – I have been not great at writing poetry for the past few months. I just haven’t been focusing on it as much as I want to be. I was thinking of starting up the “poem every day” thing again – especially since I’m going to be a camp counselor for two weeks starting Saturday, which should give me plenty of observational material to work with, if nothing else.

*ahem* okay, here’s the poem:

he moved in beneath my eyelids 8 days ago –
i could have picked any part of me to use for this metaphor.
his residency beneath my fingernails (a weak
explanation for the lack of chewing – I am growing
him room to set up his bed frame),
a nest in the pocket of my cheek (count his parts
like watermelon seeds, taste him before i wake up).

i could explain the terms of tenancy – see the lease
in the bones of my back.
i could have said he inhabits the hourglass between breasts,
how he hesitates to touch me but doesn’t wait
to make a home out of a woman.

when do you ask an overstayed guest
to start paying rent?

(Day 8)

sunday morning i shower between the men i am sleeping with.
i scrub the inside of thighs with remnants of fingernails and wonder
if mangled cuticles and body wash count as abrasive cleaners.

it is not saliva i try to scrub off, the hairs on my underwear
i do not recognize. i bathe the air in bottled woman-smell,
walk through the mist with eyes open – brown sugar burn on exposed iris.
it is not my body i am trying to clean.

Sweater Weather

His smell stays on me how feeling wool
clings to your cheeks.

Smell the inside of my wrist:
the cigarettes he gave up, the way
inside both our throats always healing,
wood chips in my lashes.

Smell the back of my knees:
sheets selected for thread count, too high
to see grief woven in, he washes
his hands with dish soap.

A weed tinged welcome,
breath patterns spread like
crystalline rash across glass,

the vape sounds like ice cubes clinking
ice against teeth taste after dinner drinks
drinks go down like sawdust