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January 25, 2017 | Poetry

if i die bury me at the ymca

Angie Sijun Lou

if i die bury me at the ymca photo

i.

every day i go to the ymca & think about
my problems. there are a lot of grandparents
who like to chat with me there.
i like to chat with them too.
i hold my breath for a long time in the pool
& never drown. i open my eyes underwater
& look at my veins: they are like the sun
when it comes down in pixels all over
my baby blue oblivion.

ii.

sometimes, at night, i lay awake & think about
how my grandmother stays up watching television
until her eyes sting from the light, how my backyard
has become a burial ground for all my dead pets
& sticky adolescent dreams. i can no longer
tell the difference between my tongue &
my grave, they both live inside of me
& don't seem real.

iii.

three years ago, i fell in love
with a boy who would scream
MOM IM DONE
as soon as he came all over my back.
this used to make me cry, but these days
i feel like screaming it too:
MOM IM DONE
listening to nature soundtracks alone in the dark
MOM IM DONE
painting my nails black in walmart
MOM IM DONE
paying my karmic debt to the holiday inn ghosts
MOM IM DONE
believing in soft love & rough sex
MOM IM DONE
with blue moons & black eyes.

iv.

last night i inverted the colors on my computer screen
& stared at a girl's blurry face in the glass, the acne
growing on her cheeks like tiny bubbles fizzing
in the ymca pool.
"you will probably have lots of different lives before you die"
i said to her
"so if you fuck up this one, it's ok"
 

image: Caleb Curtiss


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