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January 2, 2019 Poetry

Two Poems

Sara Mae

Two Poems photo


I keep writing about orgasms as crying & then I think about that.
I spent too much money on baby pink earrings & ginger
because the men in my life believe me & still starch their collars
every day. I don’t know if I want to find my German namesake
or just fill in the landscape around her with purple flowers.
I am holding this sadness in the jam jar in my ribs & I want
to layer it with taffeta & margarine instead of talking about it.
I am not burning bridges so much as I am jangling across them
in chunky suede heels & fairy wings to the bemusement
of my girlhood self. I used to know when to tap on the screw-on lid
with a knife & wait for the echo & pull or at least to go get doughnuts
with my dad & avoid disclaimers for awhile. Maple frosted,
vanilla cream filled, blueberry cake, crullers & my dad’s
wilting eyes: two swans looming on the surface of the blue.

I heard “Ouija” is just the combination of the French & German
words for “yes”. In the library at midnight, my classmates
mythologize consent & I drink cabernet until my insides glow
with sulfates. Two years later, I am at the pond & a child screams
The swans are running! & I see the eyelashes of their wings batting
the water. People here always gossip about how vicious the swans
actually are. The wind laughs through the swans’ feathers.
We levitate & nobody uses the right language to explain it.

Road Trip to Provincetown

I lie about knowing how to do makeup just so I can see Devin do hers. This is how I count blessings. The dollop, rapture, cheekbone opalescence, a pair of borrowed chunky heels, a witchy song to breathe through our gills, nipples visible through eyelet, floating & floating. I love the ritual in it. The old-man-will-surely-turn-around- in-his-seat-and-shush-us fanfare. Every tree in P-Town green enough is a soap opera. We gin hiccup & ankle bone funerals. We laugh because we are too full of sun & swedish fish to lament. We trade lipsticks & dimples alchemize.

I came to touch the edge of the coast. To peer into the blue & beg the burdens be taken from my hands. But here, at the end of the world, Devin & I brush the sand from our feet & I think about the girls I have loved for less. Nina & the tarot card tattoo & the pink flower pins because she noticed how I did my hair. [      ] with the green marbles for eyes like an owl & how she would pick oreos from her teeth. [       ] & [        ] & [     ] & everyone who I held hands with because I did not know what it meant & this was the only way I knew how to say it. I am afraid of the want that orbits these bones. I am afraid I will never know the difference between asphalt & what holds the sparkle of daylight. It is August. I think if I stand in the sun long enough, my freckles will start to come out. 

image: Tara Wray