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June 21, 2016 | Nonfiction

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Alexis Pope

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Things to remember:

Ghost Deer, Ohio

Ray St. Ray

 

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Someone says, “Apparently the moon looks beautiful tonight.”

A feast.

 

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Someone names their kid Joe.

Someone doesn’t give a shit about radical feminism.

Someone leaves “Margaret, are you grieving” in my campus mailbox.

In my dream we were hanging lavender.

 

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These moments in film are problematic: swallowing pills, pregnancy tests.

 

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how much of love is comfort.

I’m on this plane again, wonder if I’m doing the right thing but 

it’s already done. His place is paid. Mine is a place I return to when I get back next week. Alone except

And I do know he loved me, loved me in a bad way. Is that our failure. Or just a failure. I feel it in my throat.

I remember his body once as protector and really isn’t that why

 

How much of love is

and how do we

survive and can we

 

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Justin puts his hands over his ears while I talk.

 

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How much of my life is spent reminding myself of my life.

“The equations are so beautiful. They must be true.”

 

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Love of my life you say.

I look around the empty room.

 

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Some things are easier for a man.

This is obvious.

 

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Authenticity, or do I drink too much at poetry readings.

 

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Put my phone on airplane mode.

 

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The woman next to me.

She was holding her own hands.

 

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Abuse doesn’t care about distance. I mean, it travels.

I’m sitting at my breakfast table. That sounds romantic; I’m sitting at the table someone else threw out. I put it next to the window in my 400 square foot apartment. It’s ok in here. I’ve made it ok. I’ve made

It’s his weekend with her. The first time she’s been in his place. He texts me “she’s hungry.” He texts me “she’s playing in a box.”

 

Somehow everything is still

Somehow I will do this alone.

 

it’s ok it’s ok it’s ok

 

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It’s Friday now, or Saturday. The days go away from me. The center is the breakdown.

“I can’t stand the sound of your voice.”

“I hate the sound of your voice.”

“You’re a fucking bitch. You’re a fucking annoying bitch.”

“What the fuck have you ever been through?”

 

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Thought about drowning today.

In the dream she was missing. I left her on the train.

The conductor told me about the lost children, forgotten. Where I had to go to find her if she was still there. I didn’t know if I’d make it in time.

Take the train to the end of the line. Where is she, nothing moves.

 

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Nina drops off thirty Lexapro. I hold off until tomorrow.

 

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We pay to bleed.

 

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A fault I have. Close my eyes a little. When it rains, noon. I call you or check my phone. Hand in pocket all day. Hard to sleep like this.

I say my life has been moved.

I haven’t been able to write.

It’s hard to imagine a painless love. I know the reason. /I say very obvious things.

 

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I walk by and the men look. I walk by—

Does this alter my day. When approaching a group of more than three. Does my language change.

I try not to.

—and they don’t.

 

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“Going out on your back.”

 

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In my dream we were buying, or was it eating, donuts.

 

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When you touch my hips they rise.

“You taste so good,” you say.

 

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I wonder what makes a life.

What makes a life important.

I’m not a “critical thinker.”

 

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His eyes they frighten me

 

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You don’t tell me what she said about me. I don’t ask.

 

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Hibiscus rose soda and pistachio cake. I walked to the back and stood watching you, reading to them. I say / yours / there is no other name but A name can’t describe

Lemon / ignore / I feel

his apple wrapped in cellophane. I want to smooth the edges.

He has a body but / no edges

 

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I mean, I see the problem.

 

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I get distracted. I’m thinking about you and my chest drops. It’s very ordinary. I’m not being very intelligent but I’m thinking a lot. To say I could live with you isn’t the same as

Indeterminacy I’m sure I spelled it wrong in my notes. I’m overlayed/overlaying what I call my body over yours. It’s not shattering—I meant to say

It’s been two days since my last Ativan not that I’m counting. It’s been five years since my abortion. Does it mean I love

“The first one is very spare.”

Less

 

De-concentration

or the pressing of time forward. Simulate the loss of background. My ears shift, a long beep.

I’m not present.

 

(“You keep using this word poem.”)

 

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1. “You are a very smart girl.”

2. “I bet you’re a poet. You’re teaching them to love poetry instead of saying what you mean.”

 

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I tell you it’s confusing to feel this healthy.

You say, “Do you have any idea how wonderful you are?”

 

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C says, “Everyone here is so twee.”

 

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This shirt of yours I keep in my closet is losing its scent (you).

 

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I’ve started laughing at noises.

 

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“That jean jacket.”

 

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I’m still so Midwestern.

 

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We were talking about applause or “don’t fuck me over.”

// Justin is a kind of beautiful man. When he stands there. I can see it, frustrating. Furious how he can’t see me. Hasn’t seen me in

But his eyes

 

 

image: Tara Wray


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