Colleen, Colleen. Know that this made me cry. Know that I am posting this publicly because I don’t want to accidentally lose this. Know that you have said what I tried to convey in my book and that I have bled and cried and laughed and put so much of myself into it and that “I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope that I have made them right.” Thank you for this. Thank you for allowing my book to do what I wanted and needed it to do for you. I am giving you the fiercest mental hug that I can.
It started when I mailed him slices of my fingertips in plain envelopes.
He suction cupped some to his torso like hungry leeches and rubbed
the rest against his skin until they disappeared like chalk. He, loving
me more, sent his entire pinky finger in a shoe box. I inserted it
like a tampon, not even needing to bleed. So I sent him molars to jingle
in his pockets like spare change, both my ears threaded on strings
to hang from his rearview mirror and once, when he was particularly
stressed, I sewed up a breast for him to squeeze. It was Christmas
when I received his white high-top, still on his leg, cracked off just below
the knee. In ink running up his calf was written, remember when we’d go
dancing just to go dancing? When I received a sagging manila envelope
via priority mail, it leaked and ran down the delivery man’s forearm
like sap from a tree. It was still pulsing as I tried to open it with no fingers
to break the seal. No teeth to tear through the paper. Now, I lay scattered
across his apartment, miles from my empty skull, and as his thumbs are in
my silverware drawer, his eyes bobbing in my fishbowl, all I can wonder
is if he notices, I haven’t swept my floor in weeks.
I’ll be your slaughterhouse, your killing floor, your morgue and final resting, walking around with this bullet inside me ‘cause I couldn’t make you love me and I’m tired of pulling your teeth.
happiness is sitting in my best friend’s car for over an hour discussing everything and just having an honest to god discussion about life and choices and people and human rights and feminism and crying because we understand each other so well and i am just so fucking thankful for people like him and so thankful that he gets me because honestly no one gets me and i am so happy and so full and actually drowning a little bit because i really needed that and i strongly recommend getting into a car with an important person whom you love and just drive around and talk and hold their hands and tell them how much they mean to you because they should know
Grief like a thin layer of foam on my latte.
I eat your cough and memorize your dark.
Grow a new body from the pins in my hair,
paint my mouth into a bloody kiss. Here
are my legs beneath my skirt.
You are in the softest parts of me.
So says the myth: women who come
to the temple of Ixchel will be blessed
in marriage and fertility. I arrive
having left a man behind, having nothing
to be blessed or cursed, simply acknowledged.
He erases all trace of me these mornings,
raking fingers through soaped water
to scrub my perfumed sheen off everything,
a fury of long hair swept in a dustpan—
while faraway I kneel, my burnt shins on stone,
breathing salt in the air,
that roiling Caribe behind me.
Seven years we surpassed all odds: his love
for chicken wings and every sport,
sleeping as late as possible while I awoke ready
to gnash through life like a rabid coyote.
Didn’t he know I’d flee somewhere
like Mexico, bleach my hair, forego
modern appliances to lean my bronzed back
on prickled stucco while the guy pushing paletas
spritzes my face with water?
The men here call me Sarita bonita.
Each kisses my palm and offers me fruit.
insert the fish hook
the light on the other side of the bed
how stupid in love with you i was
calling this body part a mouth, a relationship
it’s not okay that most of my poems are about you
but this is not about you
and this is not always going to be so difficult
but my heart and it wants to be kind
but my fists and they want to be cruel
i don’t know what to do about all of the leaking
what if we just keep coming back as the same people
meeting over and over and over again?
Every morning I sit at the kitchen table over a tall glass of water swallowing pills. (So my hands won’t shake.) (So my heart won’t race.) (So my face won’t thaw.) (So my blood won’t mold.) (So the voices won’t scream.) (So I don’t reach for knives.) (So I keep out of the oven.) (So I eat every morsel.) (So the wine goes bitter.) (So I remember the laundry.) (So I remember to call.) (So I remember the name of each pill.) (So I remember the name of each sickness.) (So I keep my hands inside my hands.) (So the city won’t rattle.) (So I don’t weep on the bus.) (So I don’t wander the guardrail.) (So the flashbacks go quiet.) (So the insomnia sleeps.) (So I don’t jump at car horns.) (So I don’t jump at cat-calls.) (So I don’t jump a bridge.) (So I don’t twitch.) (So I don’t riot.) (So I don’t slit a strange man’s throat.)
i don’t know how to describe what it feels like when you guys write poems after mine and they end up being perfect. thank you. it’s not enough, but thank you so much. “The year of wanting everything.” yes. yes, it was.
“I’ll never forget the day Marilyn and I were walking around New York City, just having a stroll on a nice day. She loved New York because no one bothered her there like they did in Hollywood, she could put on her plain-jane clothes and no one would notice her. She loved that. So as we we’re walking down Broadway, she turns to me and says ‘Do you want to see me become her?’ I didn’t know what she meant but I just said ‘Yes’- and then I saw it. I don’t know how to explain what she did because it was so very subtle, but she turned something on within herself that was almost like magic. And suddenly cars were slowing and people were turning their heads and stopping to stare. They were recognizing that this was Marilyn Monroe as if she pulled off a mask or something, even though a second ago nobody noticed her. I had never seen anything like it before.”
- Amy Greene, wife of Marilyn’s personal photographer Milton Greene
posting this because you’re a fucking queen