Tell me about last night
I drank when I hadn’t been drinking so everything felt like a movie
about being sixteen: all those big emotions. The swirl of ice in the glass.
Also, I left the house. This body I hide under black
shirt, black hooded sweatshirt, black jeans. I took it outside.
I walked it as if it were the dog—separate from myself, a little bit distant
although tethered to me, beloved even if sometimes a cause for shame:
how the dog shits in the street and I must clean it; how my body
takes up so much room. The belly a puffball mushroom. The ham
hocks of the arms. I know I am supposed to love my body.
It does a good job. I walk, I run. Sometimes I sleep so deeply
when I wake up I think I am in a new dream. Good girl, Body,
I tell her in my mind when I remember this.
Thirteen years and this is what you are to me now
A little prickle
in my mind like a thistle burr
in the swaying grass, a nettle
that just catches the hem
of my sleeve and scrapes
delicately the tender skin
of my wrist. A dream last night
of a flooded bathroom
and broken blue-green tiles
under chlorinated light.
A morning of ginger
tea in my cup, uneaten banana, sirens
wailing on the street in waves. The ocean
is all the years we won’t meet again:
deep, blue, and full of fantastical
creatures—translucent man o’wars,
ancient sharks, giant squid with their tentacles long
as ships and studded with suckers like muscled
mouths. Their kisses are capture. So
were yours. And somewhere also ruins
of great cities. Marbled sculptures of gods
now clad in green seaweed clothes that undulate
slowly in the deep. Schools of shimmering
fish like flocks of birds in the sky—so many
bright colors. The birds sing. Under and over the water.