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May 30, 2017 Poetry

Three Poems

Ruby Brunton

Three Poems photo


i have 99 friends I can’t sleep with
or things will get weird
i’ve got an endless supply of excuses
like throat full of phlegm
no money for the subway
hair unclean, so much work to do
the main problem with capitalism is
there’s never enough time to wash my sex sheets
i send kathy acker lines instead of sexts
to a skinhead who wants to know if he’s
the good kind or the bad kind in a good way
it all depends which metric we’re using
like are we talking smashing fascism
or smashing and never texting back
my nails are breaking from the
manual labor and cheap dishwash liquid
all my shoes have heels and my shins are aching
all my books are folded over in the corners
only some of my mothers are still alive
the majority of my tinder messages
are about all my clothes being black or easy to take off
all my paychecks are smaller than they used to be
all my girlfriends are getting kicked out by boyfriends
it’s a hard sell slinging used goods on ebay
leather pants are just a couch to get stuck to
& my vegan ones ripped just from
straddling a guy in a club

In Red

there is strength in red
there are happy girls home alone
chopping strawberries becomes a habit
when you want to change the color of champagne & bathtubs
rihanna steps out to feed the birds
hair cropped, smile wide
flinging seed at the sky in the same fur heart as the night before
there’s a force in red
it covers communist thought
it’s in the sashes of mongolian warrior women
there’s energy in red
legs crushing grapes into wine
flags flapping in the wind
indigenous ones denied legitimacy
fly them anyway
but tear that dixie shit down
there’s rage in red
i was left in my silk dress to dance alone
you never wore red
because land-stealers said it wasn’t for you
there’s vibrancy in red
when i think of the first spring day
we will share together
the 100s of pictures we’ve exchanged
the color of my cheeks when you come online
there’s passion in red
a thousand fingers i’ve known but only yours i remember
a smashed bowl when you didn’t return home to me
limbs meeting for the first time
never wanting to separate
you type a sentence about your breath on my neck
& my fingers stop working


i think i was an onion in a former life
i think you chopped me
how high were we last night
how did i find the 72nd street stop
i laughed the whole way home
if this had been the 19th Century
they would’ve pronounced me mad
you’re always chopping onions, lemons, limes
i got bored, took a hot selfie
sent it to all my potential lovers
i got back a cropped shot of my crotch
with the word “yum” underneath
i won’t be sending selfies again
if i really had been an onion
that would explain the thin skin
i’ll probably fall to pieces in front of you
the tree of heaven emits
its last oniony odors as fall approaches
you’re all the way uptown lining glasses
with salt and lemon juice


image: Carabella Sands