all you have brought me / is a piece of red string which / i will lie across your / back as you claw at the ground / the television flickers / and i taste the metallic shiver / of xanax in the back / of my throat / buckshot eyes ocean / themselves and g-d quivers / at the thought / name me / crater lake or chestnut or turnip / name me eyes on backwards / i unhinge i rope / my intestines lasso my g-d / say he better make this shit work / out for me he better / he better because i can’t sleep / but i can cry / and cry i want to emulate / every fixation I’ve ever had / i want to snatch the peritoneum / from around my heart and / wear it as a hat — a / declaration of my forever-awe / of the way of things / a wreath of dying posies / and vines inch around / me and I become ritual / become blood oath become / chrysalis the sky is a forest / and we are confetti under the shell / of every holy and terrible storm / waiting for the next / mechanized lightening / and the rest / is just a hanging / buck eyes glazed / waiting for / the moss and the moss and the //
I try to open the Nyquil with my teeth, taint it with chocolate instead. How messily sleep comes to me – often in the most peculiar of ways. The sleep meds don’t work but the sick meds do. The bathtub has a blood stain I can’t get out and it makes me want to quote Macbeth, which makes me depressed. I sit in the almost certainly plastic tub and half expect to wake up sometime next year, pruning and old. I have a strange attraction to bathrooms – I like the idea of tile and porcelain, though in practice I must admit it’s a bit banal. A bathroom is really just a large mouth – ivory and eating and hungry. I tooth. I stretch. I towel rack. It is a routine now. I almost fall asleep in my bathtub and I almost get swallowed and my drain says “damn it, kid, I’m just trying to eat” and I pretend I don’t hear him and I take another Nyquil and pee and leave and then I don’t fall asleep in my bed and I hear the bathroom inch closer and closer and closer until I’m yebt again sitting on the cold ass tile and chatting with the shower curtain about politics. It’s hard to feel tired when you feel so weird inside. It’s hard to feel anything when your bathtub wants to snack on your bones. It’s cool though. We’re working it out.
you are every mountain river. each thunderstorm is made of little bits of you. i jump in a cold lake and each fish has your face. you appear the warped reflection of my stained coffee cups when they’re sticky and warm from the dishwasher. you are every single los campesinos song. you noiseless static. you lollipop stick, still stained with sweetness. i want to ink you into my skin. i want to laugh with you about that one gif of geralt of rivia doing a weird dance for the rest of my life. you are a poplar tree in fall – dying and turning yellow and still growing all at once. your ghost beckons to me and i fall for it every morning. your quiet drapes our bedding. we run to the store and search for jell-o. we hunt for dust bunnies and make shadow puppets and laugh through our teeth. you convertible toy car with a lopsided wheel in the bottom of the $1 bin at target. i roll you in my hands like dough and tuck you into my pocket. sorry about the lint. we go on long bus rides and eat pasta behind a dumpster. i’m pretty sure this is what really liking someone a lot is like so we trade last names and i wash your sheets every other week. i want to dance forever with you, even as the apocalypse rolls over our bones and soils our good towels.
Kate Wilson is the Associate Editor of TERSE. Journal, an Interview Correspondent with Half Mystic, and a Poetry Reader with Alien Magazine. Their work can be found at Pressure Gauge Press, Poets.org, and Parentheses Journal, among others. They cannot do a somersault, but they can be found on TWITTER