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October 27, 2017 | Poetry

Four Poems

Erin Taylor

Four Poems photo

1965 and every year after

there are mass graves in Indonesia full of communists
whose names have been forgotten in books
and in tongues and in memory.

every great sadness has occurred because someone
decided fate with their bare hands.

holding myself together in Brewarrina amongst the graves
of lives born and raised and dead on Christian missions.

there is a dead heavy feeling that exists in the place yellow
flowers grow irrelevant of tragedy and in every place of
genocide I have ever stepped foot, the yellow exists abundant.

a human being is not a disappearing thing,
our bodies carry bones
our presence bears memories
as mothers march every week for years
and years to demand presence.

absence is a presence.
absence is a violence.


sexual liberation is a lie, send tweet.

forcing myself to be a fruit of the perfect age
made for eating

I am all juiced up and waiting for you (or anyone)
to place me in your mouth, cut me down with your teeth,
juice running down your face.

how do I pick myself off the tree, fresh and wanting,
instead of new hands, with all their grime,
on my peached skin?

I will not always be this young and wet yet I do not
owe this youth to anyone.


sexual liberation is a lie, part two, send tweet.

I let a man finger me dry on his bed
while his mother cooks brussels sprouts in the other room:
As a child, my mother never cooked brussels sprouts because
she hated them as a child, as a child our bodies grow until
we lose our knee-high-to-a-grasshopper perspective.

             so much that I do now, I would have been ashamed of
             at fifteen, I think this after sending a sext with a typo
                          “you would do let me peg you” to a man I had just
                          kissed in an alleyway in Philadelphia.

I’ve kissed six people this week yet I still do not know how my face looks.
last night in the queer lamp light, I felt beautiful yet I know that is because
of the attention, not my own face.
                          I know the boy I am falling in love with is kissing the woman
                          he also kisses sometimes right now, because he usually responds.

two full bladders at independence hall. it was raining and your body was still new then
                                                                    I worry you will grow bored of me

am I all that interesting if I stay in one place, carrying
other proper nouns in my mouth, vomiting
them into conversations.
                                       we held hands at the hong kong cake shop,
                                       I told you of crying into a matcha tea in Sydney.
you have become the anonymous you of my heart’s song,
                            I’m sorry.

the only miraculous thing about my body is it fits in anywhere.


grappling with imposter syndrome

buying my new housemates rosella tea and my parents
artisanal salt all for under $10 in the Southern hemisphere -
this is the nouveau riche lifestyle my parents worked themselves
into their (premature) graves for me to afford.

eating a surplus of Korean food with a kind man.
being offered to be flown out to LA or Edinburgh.
childhood memories of everything turned off,
bills piling, I am escaping my own truth.

imposter syndrome on an island off the coast of Bali
like “please take my photo for Insta, make my ass
look really good, thanks. did you get the volcanoes
in the background?” forgetting the muffled noise
of parents telling their children to not talk to me,
forgetting that my middle name is charity case,
forgetting watching my mother’s teeth fall out
one by one by one because who can actually afford
healthcare in this economy? that isn’t a joke, who
can afford healthcare in this economy?
I can’t but I look like I maybe could on Instagram.

 

image: Tara Wray


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