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 Dec 2013 Lexi
JJ Hutton
She said I was her second favorite.
Not that she'd met a better man,
but that way she left room for


She wanted to believe in fidelity
like someone wants to believe
in Jesus or pure justice.

She asked my complex thoughts--
the wordless ones. I asked for an explanation.
She only stared, and I realized I
couldn't tell if her eyes were
green or blue.

She stabbed her ice with a straw
and told me to stop calling it love--
what we were making. That was
fine. I had a few other terms in mind.

She said nightlife and fanfare were
for homosexuals. So, we spent
most evenings eating Chinese takeout
in a rented room.

She vomited on the Fourth of July,
while fireworks erupted. I sat in
a lawn chair, and tried to remember
how she looked in that black A-line dress.

She needed to know my plans for our future.
I said there were endless open doors in front of us.
She said she only heard the sound of a door
closing behind.

She was a free spirit. And I "put it on trial."

She said she needed me

to change the channel.

She said when we ended -- and we would end --
I'd learn a valuable lesson:
a woman is the only creature
that doesn't have to die to haunt you.
 Dec 2013 Lexi
JJ Hutton
Is a Woman
 Dec 2013 Lexi
JJ Hutton
She tells him this better be the last one--
the last first love poem he'll write.
The title, she says, needs to be brief,
something any lover can relate to.
Do you want me to leave the room
while you write it?


With one step she's no longer in the
living room, she's in the middle of the
apartment kitchen. There are two bowls,
two spoons in the sink. The bellowing heater
acts as background, smoothing the space
with its hum. She squeezes a drop of soap
into each bowl. Fills both with hot water.

Any lover needs to be able to relate, she says,
but make sure you set it somewhere romantic--
not Paris, Rome, or anything like that--but
next to a body of water. There should be
birds. Clouds and rain. Not sunshine. Don't
you think?

He thinks.

She works the bowls over with a dishrag.
Dinner, breakfast--whatever you want to call it--was good, she says.


She dries the bowls, places them in the cabinet.
Have you written a line yet?


Can I read it?

Not yet.

When I wake up?

When you wake up.

With a hand to each side of his face,
she denotes the spots he missed shaving
with her index fingers. Here, she says.
Here. Here.

The lines run from the corners of his eyes
as he smiles. Now she marks these.
She kisses him; she doesn't say, I love you.
Not yet.

Wake me up before you go to work, okay?


With one step she's in the bedroom.
The bed's a couch.
She pulls the quilt up to her chin.
Her body curls.
She says, Hang out with me in
my dreams.

Wouldn't miss it.

Good morning.

Good morning.

A few minutes later her breath
goes steady, falling in line with
the heater.

The sun starts seeping in through
the blinds. The loose strands of
her hair become gold. He draws
the curtains so the light does not
wake her. She, he types.

In an apartment where once was one--
one toothbrush, one set of sneakers
by the door--now there are two.
Everything paired off and content in
its pairing.

Is a woman, he types. He hits the delete key once.
Then he types N again.

Her makeup bag is on the dining table.
Islands of stray powder dot the bag.
Her brush is on the coffee table
next to the couch. Countless
numbers of hairpins are embedded in the carpet.

I can't make it in today, he says into the receiver.
Yeah, not feeling too good. Thank you, sir. Will do.
Alright. Yeah, you too.

When he presses in beside her, she says, I've been awake
the whole time.

Have not.

Have too. Did you finish it?


Can I read it?

After you actually get some sleep.

What'd you call it?

Is a Woman.

I like that.
 Jun 2013 Lexi
 Jun 2013 Lexi
A barbie doll. A basketball. A mickey mouse sweatshirt.
A barbie doll. A basketball. A mickey mouse sweatshirt.
That is all that I see.
My knees are tucked against my chest
And my arms are wrapped around them.
My chin is positioned between my knees
And my eyes peer out between the spaces.
I shrug my shoulders against my ears
So that I don't have to hear
What's going on downstairs.
A barbie doll. A basketball. A mickey mouse sweatshirt.
But the words, like a poisonous gas,
Seep through the air vent.
"*****. ****. You don't see
What's she's doing to us."
I tilt my head and bury
My face in my forearms.
I bite my lip and try
Not to cry.
But I can feel the heat building
And my chest tightening
As the tears begin
To crawl from
My eyes.
I listen again,
To the shrill voice
Piercing my not-so-silence.
"Take her home,
We can figure this out
On our own."
I try to breathe,
But oxygen escapes me,
As if it too hates me.
My chest shakes,
My heart rattling
In its cage, cold from
A lack of love
And warm embrace.
I bury my face deeper,
Into the crevices of my legs,
Until I hear the footsteps
Crashing up the staircase.
A whimper escapes my lips.
She twists the **** and throws
Open my bedroom door,
Long strides to reach me,
And a fist near my throat.
She reaches for my hair,
And knots it between her fingers,
Before using it to pull me like a rope.
Dragging me across the carpet,
And into the kitchen,
She tosses me
At my father's legs.
"Now tell her exactly
What you told me."
I look up at him
Through frightened eyes
And he reaches down
And pulls me from the ground.
"I'm taking her home."
A trickle of relief
Slides down my throat
Until a wave of pain
Crashes into my leg
From behind.
My face hits the
Linoleum first,
Followed by my hands
Then shoulders, then hips.
"That's not what you said!"
He steps between
Her and me
And lifts me
From the floor,
Holding me close,
And walking quickly
Out the door.
And finally,
I am safe,
For another day.
But as my father
Sits me
In the passenger seat
And drives away,
I silently pray that
No other ten year old
Would ever feel this way.
 Jun 2013 Lexi
We think death is romantic
Because the same lilies our ex bought us
On our first date are neatly draped
Over the caskets as decoration
(But there are no flowers in our arms
As we lie alone inside)

We think death is liberating
Because we imagine the shackles
Of society falling off our wrists and ankles
As we fly to a better place
(But in reality
We are locked in a prison
Beneath six feet of dirt)

We think death is infinite
Because we can never return
To the people who harmed us
And the house that was never a home
(But our bodies are not eternal
As they slowly decompose
Back to nature in the ground)

What we fail to realize is that
Life is romantic, liberating, and infinite

Romantic in the form of a sunrise
Climbing over a calm sea,
Liberating in the form of birds
Traveling to anywhere they please,
Infinite in the form of flowers,
Dying and regrowing in the spring

So on the day that you make your decision,
To end your (romantic, liberating,
And infinite) life I beg you to reconsider,
Because you may already have exactly
What you are looking for.
 Jun 2013 Lexi
 Jun 2013 Lexi
He fell in love like the changing of seasons. With new leaves and new snows and new beginnings and new growths.

There was fall-
With her simple thoughts and opinions
And her kind words to everyone
Not to mention her ability to learn quickly
(He was an unanswered problem on a math quiz)

There was winter-
Coincidentally, she was winter, with a heart like hers.
She was a challenge and not even he could conquer
Challenging herself to play every instrument there was
(Including his heart strings)

There was spring-
Who was the hopeless romantic
Wide and starry eyed
She always had a smile on her face and her laugh traveled
(He was the only one who knew how secretly sad she was)

There was summer-
Because he believed seasons changed
But people are not poems and this is just a metaphor
She was as cold as winter and a season between could not change that
(Summer love always comes to an end, Spring thinks hopefully)

So here I am, Spring, writing about a boy who thinks he can change girls like seasons. He wants to change them for the better. Yet, he leaves them worse. And I, Spring, was already sad enough before he came.
 Jun 2013 Lexi
Leelan Farhan
"*****, filthy, subhuman creatures"
They don’t care if you’re doctors,
lawyers or teachers
They’ll kidnap your children,
spit on your soul
Terrorize your family,
kick in your door

They’ll drug your mind with propaganda
Cut out your tongue if you try to stand up
They’ll beat you till you bleed
But we never plead for mercy,
No we never claim defeat

They’ll kick you under the desk,
send you slamming into the wall
They’ll laugh and kick you harder,
if you try to get up, if you try to crawl

But our crawling brings us to our knees,
Slowly, we rise up to our feet
And we’ll face the persecution
The vile, mind-prostitution

They **** our women and our children,
Just as much as they **** our minds
****** our emotion,
But they will not ****** our pride
Our dignity is our iron,
Our religion is our crime.
But you cannot destroy us
Believe me, many have tried.

There is silver in our blood,
Gold in our soul
Oil paint coats our skin
And our words swallow you whole

Our hearts are poets,
Constructing your fears
Our thoughts are daggers and arrows
Our minds are cunning engineers

You can hang us from the ceiling
You can throw us in a tank of gas
But our lungs are as pure as snow
And this pain will never last

We have risen from the ashes
Hear our battle cries
We do not yield weapons
In silence,
we ride
This is a very personal poem, about the human rights violations occurring in my parents' homeland (Iraq).
© Leelan Farhan 2013

— The End —