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3.2k · Jan 2014
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
My mother used to keep Lupines
in the cracks of her favorite book.
They bloomed into oblivion, and they bloomed
into the book, because they didn’t know any better, which is how
it is with all flowers, and not just Lupines (I think), and which
is like how I don’t know any better
than to whisper gratitude to strangers
I’ve seen a million times over sitting on the curbs
of sidewalks that run along every surface of the earth. It is one of my only
redeeming qualities, and it makes up for all of the times when
I’ve been petulant, even though
Little Brother tells me that I’m too sorry too often. My mother says that I’m just
“being (too) polite”  —
my mother has never known any better than to defend me
even when I should not be defended (which is always).
Instead of gullible, my mother calls me trusting, even though I didn’t trust

Billy The Neighbor on the other side of the street (in East of Eden)
when he told me he saw an alien, and the alien’s name
was Fred, and he was a nice enough alien, and he
was the size of a fingernail with pink and yellow skin. Aliens are what I cannot believe, because my mother said that before I was born,
I was an alien. I guess she just doesn’t know that the only alien is

Billy The Neighbor, and that when he said he saw an alien,
what he really meant was that he saw himself.
Billy The Neighbor has long skin, and short hair, and tall eyes
that I don’t like to watch. Once, he called me a ghost, and maybe he’s right
(I believe in ghosts, even though I don’t – can’t – believe in aliens, unless you are
Billy The Neighbor): my skin is always too pale,
and my arms are always too far away, and I can stick my hand
through my cold leg, which I guess is not very normal. Sometimes,

I wish I could be the largest sea turtle in the world instead of being a ghost,
because I like being in water, even though I don’t like to drink it
(I only like fat-free milk, and on every other Sunday, I like orange juice). Also, it might be nice to have salty tears – mine
are usually too fresh (which is odd, because my tears should be salty,
even if I am not a turtle), but here’s a story for you: my eyes have never
actually drooped, except for when Billy The Neighbor told me I
was ***** after I finished loving his brother. So,

maybe it doesn’t matter how fresh my tears are. Or maybe I would
cry more if my tears were saltier, and maybe my crying
would be more fragile than it is now. I saw Billy The Neighbor’s brother

cry, because he had loved his dog too much. Also, I
saw his collarbones, and I guess Billy The Neighbor called me *****
soon after that. Billy The Neighbor’s brother once told me I
became too attached too easily, but there’s another word for it –
I just like people who are loyal, and who can be as loyal as I am. Also,
I like people who are like Billy The Neighbor’s brother, and who can
cry over everything, because when I was little I did cry, just not anymore.
When I was little, I fainted, because someone was talking about ****.
My mother called me sensitive, but everybody else called me
“mentally disturbed.” I started seeing a therapist after that. My therapist
told me to sing. She had a torn poster of Don McLean on her wall, and she
wanted to be his therapist. Or,
she wanted to sing dirges in the dark with him. I guess I was the next best thing,
but I didn’t know how to sing a dirge for her, and I
apologized to her for it – she didn’t know that I was actually

just too lonely to do so. Then I stopped crying, even though
my body still housed more tears.
Billy The Neighbor’s brother once cried over steeped tea,
and I wish I had, too, but I didn’t. Yesterday, Little Brother
cried tears of amethyst, and he stained the floor velvet. Nobody came
to clean the floor, or to lick the color away, so now the floors are velvet,
which is sad, but mother says it’s beautiful. Whenever she says “beautiful,” I want
to throw up, because that is the worst word. I’m sorry for that. I wish I could
call people beautiful, but I’m too kind to do so.
3.1k · Jan 2014
A kind of sculpting
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
The baby is born to the death walls
that line the cellar. The cellar is dark
and musty like the inside of a mouth
that has seen every forest in the world
that needs to be seen. There is animal
screaming and cheeks wailing and blood
smashed. There is the floor: cold as bath
water or lungs or teeth or healing. She
wanted a midwife. The midwife looks
ashes of change, her hands shake  
like a pale fire. Her hands shouldn’t
be shaking, I want to say please, leave
the shaking hands to us, we are only
a professional family, but you are really
a professional, your brain is snowed with
palms that knead proper parturition. But
my mouth is tight with breath and ash.
2.8k · Jul 2014
loisa fenichell Jul 2014
I don’t want to ever find myself apologizing to you today I am saying sorry by vomiting today I am saying sorry by not moving today your face is in my hand & I am kissing it today my body expands like lung cancer I am always writing about expanding bodies I am never not vomiting even when I am really not at all last night I got 4 hours of sleep this morning my headache is full of scraped knees today I do not move today I think about kissing you today I think that kissing you would not be very different from kissing a taxi today I think that I want to ignore you & kiss you forever & ever but I cannot do that if you ignore me today my stomach is angry at the world today I am in love with too many people today I am waiting for the world to thank me & I am waiting for an astronaut, a moon, a lit-up screen, ellipses in your rotten mouth, some beestings in my throat
well ****, idk idk, quickie (quick poem v v quick)
1.8k · Oct 2014
loisa fenichell Oct 2014
Mother told us when we were younger not
to step foot into the woods or else our bodies
would disappear like birch tree into morning

At night in the dark with our hushed breathing
lying underneath soft blue quilt and the moon pale
as Mother’s face shining through the bedroom window
she told us stories about wolves with teeth sharp
and naked, sinister and still like a fresh mistake, or like
the stories themselves, the ones that lulled us into
hard-edged sleep.

Now at night in the dark with my hushed breathing
lying underneath trees tall as a father I’ve never met
I am breaking every law I’ve ever known, standing
with feet bare and rough like the body of a toddler
that’s been scratched by saltwater. Now the moon
is as rough and gold as a cruel boy’s face.

Here I am breaking every law I’ve ever known
but also here I no longer have a mother. Here
there are finally people I can learn how to miss
and the trees look more like tombstones; on one:
the name of a father long gone, another: mother dead
with age, a third: boy dead by drowning.

If somebody could see me now they would see
the body of somebody holy, soft and aching and wrinkled.
1.7k · Jan 2014
5:24 am, why am i awake
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
also, why is this so usual for me
i’d like to say that now is when
i think about everything
monumental, like the economy
or my parents hurling pebbles at
each other’s backs or watching
“iron man” with my cousin on christmas,
feeling like some kind of tourist in my cousin’s bed,
i.e., is this what christmas is supposed to feel like?
i don’t know, i celebrate chanukah, please let me know.
sometimes i think about my brother
in the woods,
is there smoke lingering on his palm?
i don’t realize how much i care about him until i do, until
my eyes are dark out, until my eyes match
the insides of my stomach.
but usually i am thinking about you, or us, or we, last year, sitting
together like static tucked softly into our houses. you were
always digging graves inside of my neck because,
we’ll die soon but before that we’ll get married,
except wait i’m 18. my stomach still lines my throat
when i swallow pills and i don’t know how to cradle
anything else other than my knuckles and there are plants
in the windowsill and i water them, sometimes, when i feel
like it. when i was 13 i saw blood streaming my underwear
and i told myself, this is it, i’m with death, i knew the doctor
was lying when he said i was so healthy.
when i was 13 my mother came into my room
and said, “look, now you can have children.” i was 13, now i am five years
older, i still cry when i think about mothers. how easy it is for them
to lose their children. like once i watched “boy in the striped pajamas”
(on my birthday) (how stupid) and i cried for three hours afterwards because
i felt like the mother, or just a mother, or my mother and her mother
and her mother and how we could all easily pull away from each other like thread.
once a boy from my school died and another time a girl from my
camp hung herself and i cried for their parents, mostly. i didn’t
know how to cry for myself yet and i still don’t. i’m tangling
other people’s emotions around my throat, i’m still trying
to find mine. mother tells me, you’ll find them if you clean your room.
mother says, look at how much you’ve grown. i am churches of guilt
when i don’t believe her. there are always people praying
inside of me. nobody should ever pray inside of me, least
of all you. if anything my hands are two skyscrapers
but that’s the only kind of building i know how to be.
i’m sorry, i’m in bed googling ways to leave somebody
without hurting them and also without being selfish. i am so
selfish, like leaves covering sidewalks, i am so selfish and i am
so sorry and i am crumpled but also i think i’ll be okay and
maybe one day i’ll think of you without feeling so sorry for myself.
1.6k · Jan 2014
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
a couple.
as in: two.
as in: let’s
share the bed
until our mouths
grow withered
like ancient apart-
ment buildings.
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
We never ****** on anybody’s ticking bed.
We didn’t even **** up, although we did. Who gives a **** about romance?
These days I am letting my mouth slide right off my face. Letting my fingers bleed
onto bathroom walls. Peeling my skin into the bathroom sink. My
brother complains about it. Tells me I need to be cleaner. I shower
everyday for two hours. You’re still sleeping in my hair, my
flesh is still crawling with your sweat. Please don’t think that I
ever held a door open for you. “Write about me.” Well, ok, *******,
I’m not crying. I’ve never cried, except for that one time when my mother
threw my lunchbox at the wall. The lunchbox was shaped like a spaceship.
Now I know that she wasn’t mad at me, just at the sky
and how quickly it could change and how she wasn’t ready for it to change,
wasn’t ever ready for it to change. But I still liked that lunchbox. I don’t
eat much these days maybe because she broke it. I mean I no longer
have a home for my food, so what’s the point? Two weeks ago
the kitchen was dark and my feet were undressed and I was scooping
peanut butter out of the jar like a nightlight. It’s one of my top five
embarrassing moments even though nobody was there to watch me.
I watch myself so well. Also not well enough. Please tell me what I
look like. I want details, sometimes I think I want your face but
then I remember you’re still climbing the stairs like a ghost. I
almost let you be my ghost.
i mean i don't think think this is explicit
*cursing, references to not eating/eating in secret,  don't read if any of that bothers you
1.4k · Feb 2014
loisa fenichell Feb 2014
I get an email from you January 10th also known as the day on which we were supposed to drive to PetSmart together to buy a fish. We were going to name the fish Wendy, we were going to buy Wendy a bowl with a small castle, a moat, even a footbridge; her lifestyle was going to fit so eloquently with the color of her scales. You sent an email to me January 10th. The email was empty space, like the air that sometimes curls itself between teeth and moons; your email against the screen; the screen glowing like some faraway whispered death prayer. I don’t remember what you wrote but I remember feeling like a forgotten alphabet; not once in your email did you use the word “adore.”
1.4k · Nov 2014
"tennis shoes aesthetics"//
loisa fenichell Nov 2014
my hands are stained brown & contrast well with the bright whiteness of my quilt: white & cool as her tennis shoes, as the tennis shoes of the girl whose name I know you think of when we lie in bed & you press your hand to my stomach as though it were some kind of important holy grail, but it’s not (my stomach isn’t small enough to be holy). I tell myself that the brown is blood, from a bad ****** nose, but I know better. my roommate knows better, too, so do my suitemates. they notice when the food goes missing & they notice when the tiles of the bathroom floor ***** up like the face of a vulnerable boy. I’m getting better, though, & I’m constantly telling them that. my hands are getting less marked, less *****, less covered in *****. I do it usually, claw my body usually, when I see pictures of her (or when you reject me or worse when you reject me for her), which is why I usually don’t let myself see pictures of her. there are days when I see her being all-beautiful out in a large field with hair long like a glass of fresh milk & teeth clean as a never-worn hospital gown. that’s when I’m on the bathroom floor wishing you’d call me or ] thinking about another boy (a boy like you: a boy I once told myself I liked or loved, but didn’t, just wanted him to love me). the boys come when my body turns lonely like a mosquito bite on the sole of a child’s foot. my body turns lonely & I see my eyes burning at the beach with my body all self-conscious in a blue one-piece bathing suit. I love to swim but I hate my body (something seems so ****** up about that). I wish I loved tennis. I see her tennis shoes in my head & I picture her body smoothly across the court. I see her body playing like a sailboat with her hands gripping the racket like a new set of clean teeth.
**** stream-of-consciousness (inspired slightly by lorde & also by dumb boys not even joking)
1.3k · Jan 2014
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
Here all of the walls are dead.
Here I am a noose in the crowd,
and I am scalding in a puffed winter jacket.
On the subway there is a girl I recognize;
she looks like the nightgown I had
when I was three years old.
It was blue threaded with white.
I wore it like a second skeleton.

Sometimes now I have dreams in which I am
standing outside wearing nothing but the nightgown
and I am trying to find the moon, but it is gone,
it is not even night, it is not even anything. Then
it is morning and I am sprung up panting
like a motorcycle, my skin turned to waves.

I get off at Chambers Street, accidentally
bumping into the girl before graphing
my way onto the platform. I forget
to apologize, I forget how to speak,
mostly because the nightgown is still
stapled to my waist and won’t let me go.
1.3k · Jan 2014
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
ghost in a gutter in a sidewalk
once i taped my body
like dozens of wires now
i lie down palms flat
atop vessels of pavement

i can tell you so much about
wiring also about breathing
forests into your lungs, they
haunt your lungs like the child
my mother never gave birth to,
i’m not convinced that it’s not
still in her womb. they called
it a miscarriage but sometimes
i see the child when i’m taking
a bath; stare at my fingers
and the wrinkles are newly
discovered bodies coddled
by electric fences.
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
I. clay and ice

In the bed: sheets white
as a faceless whisper. Think
dark and unwashed hair. Also,
eyes shot with too much blush.

II. eyes

It’s too easy for me
to look into the mirror
when I’m brushing my
teeth. Lips paired with
a dark sigh. Lights bright
as the careful hands
of somebody newly pregnant.  

III. dna

In the evening, I mean
very late at night, often
you are there so split into
two. Get into this bed, then
clench your muscles one
by one like soldiers’ play.
Your arms rest on the windowsill
like smoky moths. It isn’t until
you clasp your hands like a bird
falling midflight that I realize: you
are so much less than our fathers.
My mouth will be resting inside
of your neck but you won’t be
able to hear me begging
like a cancerous womb.
loisa fenichell Feb 2015
The car we decide to drive looks
like a crooked body. When Leo and I stop at a gas station,
we enter the bathroom, look into the full-length
mirror. Even with him standing up, I can count
all 24 of his ribs, all of them poked out and looking
like nooses. I imagine witches dead and dangling
off of each one of them.

He is that thin.

The way he looks
reminds me of my father.
Right before my father died,
his face looked like cruel weather.
My father in a hospital bed,
my father in a coma.

Right after my father died I listened to “Wild Horses”
on repeat. The lyrics seemed to fit well with the white
of the hospital walls (I know I dreamed you a sin and a lie.)

When Leo and I get back into the car
I put on “Wild Horses” again.

Leo was not there the day my father died.
Leo did not come to the hospital once. Leo
has hands large as Vatican City. There have
been times in my dreams when Leo looks more
like the Pope than he does himself. Leo’s skin
is not nearly as wrinkled in real life.

In the car we eat cheese and peanut butter crackers,
drink cartons of orange juice. I eat and drink until
I feel sick. This is normal. In this heat, sticky and dry
as the corners of my mouth are, it is all I can do not to make
Leo stop the car so that I can stick my hands down my throat
and *****. The vomiting is normal, too. I have only

just met Leo. It was me who suggested this trip, my body
in his bed, me staring up at his ceiling, and it was me
who was surprised when he agreed to take it with me.
shoutout 2 my irl friend leo for letting me use his name / character in poem bears no resemblance to him
1.2k · Jan 2014
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
in response to matthew zapruder's "come on all you ghosts," section ii*


I see what you mean about fathers; lately
my father has been the only ghost I know. He
mostly stands in doorways, mostly to say goodnight.


Please tell me more about what it’s like to listen
to your father cough. Mine never has; I wasn’t even born yet
when someone stole his lungs, hid them away in a graveyard.


I think I want a keychain like yours. No not
a keychain, but something just as much a corpse. Mostly
just a portrait of my father, maybe I’ll take your keychain
and onto it I’ll paint the portraits of everybody’s fathers.


I know I’m being called, but I don’t
feel quite like my father yet. There is
still so much pavement left for me to see,
and one day I want to be able to list all
of the names of places that I’ve lived in.


I’ve lived mostly in wombs. Also
there was the taxi, and then the apartment skewed
with a crib and rats and some gunshots
from down the street. Later there was the house
by the river, and there was upstate, where
they sat in beach chairs in the parking lots
of gas stations and watched the cars drive by.
1.1k · Aug 2014
Dear poet,
loisa fenichell Aug 2014
I do not love myself
dear poet I could not love myself even if I tried
dear poet I do not love myself dear poet I try to love myself
dear poet I sit in meditation groups & I chant “love your body”
over & over again, silently, cyclically, a prayer
until I am crying dear poet I am not yet 20
& my body already feels wrinkled
dear poet last night I had a panic attack
because last night a boy who reminded me of my mother
tried to kiss me on a field underneath dark stars
dear poet I still feel guilty for not kissing him back
dear poet he tasted like 12 years old again
dear poet like 12 years old I was upstate at camp in a lake
shaped like a womb swimming with my back arched
upside down like Australia dear poet I am all skin & mosquito bites
& I still taste like summer like alcohol from a boy
dear poet I am shaking here in my skin dear poet
I can’t stop shaking dear poet please calm me down dear poet
once I loved a boy & then he drowned himself in a lake
& dear poet I cannot love again dear poet except I love you dear poet
for a prompt (write poem titled "dear poet")
1.1k · Jun 2014
loisa fenichell Jun 2014
Summer like a newly born body              Our sheets are sticky & white

Legs knotted on the floor of my bedroom closet              (Except: I don’t have legs)

(I’m afraid of wearing shorts)              We sit on the floor of this closet breathing heat

& eating each other’s bones like Chinese food              (We don’t like Chinese food)

I tell you that my body doesn’t exist              Except at night in dreams & nightmares

We stay in this closet because it is small & dark             & we know each other

We know each other in these              Sheets, white & sticky (like the wedding dress

of a nervous bride)              This summer is built like a hospital

This summer               We are born again like *****, only without water

We drink water              And then we die like church bells

We drink water             And then we die like our parents do,

In cycles              The way we brush our teeth

(Next summer              We will be back on the floor of this closet)
in which i play around with formatting
987 · Jan 2015
loisa fenichell Jan 2015
I’m holding my father’s baby teeth in my hands. They’re pressing into my palms the way I wish your nails could. My mother through walls thin as her body is using the bathroom again. My mother has eyes like the antlers of a buck. When it snows my mother is outside with her fingers encircling a purple plant and the plant is now dead. When it snows my mother’s mouth can be seen disappearing into flesh, her face disappearing because it has no flesh. She is standing on the porch again watching you drive. “I Need My Girl” is a loud song and it is playing softly from your speakers.

The last time I held your hand in a car we drove for two hours like Magellan in circles around the outskirts of the town. The river coursing like the chest of a swan just about to take flight. The river coarse as childhood hair, hair without showering. I hadn’t showered in two days. This town would be better with large fields, more cows, some highway and cliffs. As it was: it felt too much like we were driving somewhere; it always does when you are in a small town. We drank from wine bottles shaped like our father’s heads and sat on straw chairs underneath strung-up white lights. The lights were there all year hanging from a tree that in that muddy heat should have been palm.

What it was: this summer your body reminded me of somebody else’s body all lanky, the one difference was that you were there and he wasn’t and now it is winter and neither of you are here and my body is in bed moored by hives the size of your large pale feet.
968 · Jul 2014
fragments (to knit later)
loisa fenichell Jul 2014

I’m into you like moons. I’m sorry.
That’s not what you want to hear. I’m
into you like how my shoulders make waves.
There is a river tearing down from my neck.  
I think maybe you think that you are inside
of me like a second burden. No, but see, I
have so many souls all taped to my gutters,
to my insides. I think that’s why I’m always
holding doors open for strangers.


I went to my father like clay.
He melted my hands and told me
not to worry and told me not to snow.


I’m always so very strangerly. Especially
with people on subways. We’ve been on a subway
together once. In fifty years we will be on a subway
together again but it will be by accident like when
you bruise your temples on the corner of the bathroom


I’m mostly singing a lot mostly
because it makes my throat disappear
mostly because all of the windows are breaking
anyway so what does it matter. Windows breaking
from some storm. The snow is supposed
to last for five days.


Hello, father, I have disobeyed you.
Look I am falling to the ground,
look I can’t get up, how exciting.
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
please stop writing letters to me,
and by that i just mean, please stop
being so nice to me always. when i can’t sleep, also,
when i cry, which is the same thing, really,
i tell myself that it is because the night is
the wrong size. i used to sleep with your
sweatshirt tucked underneath my head as though
it had been your stomach. i don’t do that anymore.
i don’t remember what your stomach tastes like
anymore. i wear my father’s old sweaters and sit
like an electric storm on my bed and cry. i never close
the blinds. i think part of me wants my neighbors
to see that i’m not very strong after all. it’s like
i think that that’s some kind of hot secret. in therapy
i am told that i am strong and smart and part of me
wants to laugh  because if only she knew. when you
come back, you’ll be so happy to see me, you wrote. when
you come back, you’ll be so happy to see me that you’ll start crying,
you wrote. when you come back, maybe you can electrocute me open.
951 · Jun 2014
Driving Lessons
loisa fenichell Jun 2014
Somewhere it is 1942 and Grandfather is alone
in uniformed dark hair, flying over mountain ranges
that look more like steep moonlight than anything else.  

Today the sun is sharp and pronounced.
Today the car is warm as wrinkled skin.

I come close to crashing five times, thinking about
Grandfather’s cool bald spot and about the time
he took me for ice cream. Three years old
and he told me about money and afterwards
Father yelled at him while I played with blue chalk.

Two years later Father watches his father’s ashes dangle
into the Hudson River and two years after that
I see a puppet with the same bald spot as Grandfather’s. I tell Mother
that they are now making puppets out of the dead
and Mother just smiles down at my short body.

That night I dream of underwater graveyards and puppet shows.
925 · Jan 2014
Swole / Space
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
Knees paved like the tooth
of a dog. Mothers only trying
their best. I never knew what
that meant until my belly swelled
like radish gums with myself
holed inside. Right now I 
am just waiting for a neatly
wrinkled wave.
910 · Oct 2014
loisa fenichell Oct 2014

My father sits in the corner of his
living room with his mouth curled
and ****** hair drooping like a ******
up angel. His body is just like mine.
I have never hated him more than
I do now, with his gut hanging over
his knees like hot solid fur.  


I sit in the passenger seat of a green
Subaru Forrester. Father drives. I am
trying to sleep and he won’t stop
talking and I realize in his voice that
the two of us are the same: we have
the same throats, like two blue


Father in his rocking chair sleeps
stilly like paved whispering. I picture
him with a snake in his lap and it is only
then that I am willing to cover him
in the plaid blanket that drapes the living
room couch. I leave him with my shoulders
bent like rusty metal, my mouth shaped
like guilt or a glass of milk.  


My father dies in 2006 in between
line of highway and line of trees. Subaru
Forrester beaten against the side of the road.
His spine bends his waist twists as though
he has just slept with the devil.
909 · Jun 2014
loisa fenichell Jun 2014
A shallow lake off of I-95. My mouth was a water fountain. My back was arched the way my mother’s was the day she gave birth to me. My belly was round and steep like the high peaks that circled our watery bodies like branches of snakes. By the lake there were woods and in the deep mouth of those woods we lay with sweaty arms and burnt legs. You groaned as though your mouth were full of wolves. My eyes were tightly sealed. I thought mostly of my father and of the bed that I slept in when I was three years old. I thought about my grandfather’s hands, too, stained with beer and old milk. It was like I was leaving my mother’s womb all over again. Thought: this is what it will be like the day I give birth. Thought: the trees are bent at their waists the way my brother always is; he sinks into himself like ocean. Back at the lake you unwrapped a pack of cigarettes and I unwrapped my mouth, vomiting into the sand. Nobody else was there. I remember you always smelling like smoke. That entire time we were awful drivers.
908 · Nov 2014
Poem for a boy in November
loisa fenichell Nov 2014
Your face like a stomach in winter, all
nauseous with snow.

Your face vulnerable as Hades and you drinking
until your abdomen cramps up
like a manmade lake.

Your face is not at all shadow.

Your face is wide and open as summer curtains.
and hurt as shot wolf.

Dead wolf.
My uncle eats wolf for breakfast.
I take you to meet my uncle on a Sunday morning.
He prays before we eat.
Your face is cratered with doubt.
I take your hand
and I squeeze it underneath the table,
hard as the statue of a god.

Later in winter our hands are squeezing gods
underneath a blanket in somebody else’s living
room. After that outside with dark and ice and sidewalk.
Your mouth and my mouth and your arms and my
arms and we are trying to stand up straight.

You are the wrong boy. Every boy is the wrong boy.
I go to sleep in mornings and wake up late
afternoons, in dreams I am screaming to gods I’ve never
prayed to. When I wake up I am sick to my stomach.
Always with a bloated stomach, my body always
part of a ****** battle that you seem no longer to want
to be a part of.
890 · Aug 2014
loisa fenichell Aug 2014
The first story I ever heard was from Grandfather,
about a boy & his dog. Grandfather looked pale
as ash that day. It was December & I was still
a small wrinkle in a bassinet. Mother & Father
were still new parents. They never listened to Grandfather,
just cradled me like a bundle of empty beer bottles.

Even now I’ve never seen either of my parents
drink, but I can hear them screaming, at night, about me,
mostly, sounding like whorls of fingerprints
being rubbed together in the wrong direction. My body is so often

being rubbed together in the wrong direction: a stomach that feels like moths
or eggs boiled incorrectly, too soft or too hard. My stomach growls, often.
Tightens, often, like thousands of screwdrivers in my throat.

If Grandfather could see me now he would cry. In the story
the boy & his dog are having trouble moving their sled down
a steep & snowy mountain but in the end they succeed, sliding
down the mountain the way hands do across large bellies. I am not a boy,
I do not own a dog, or a sled. Nights I stay up late
curled on the floor of the kitchen or the bathroom,
clutching at my body,
at the swole of my abdomen,
as though it were a large pile of greasy, brown rats.
851 · Oct 2014
C Train
loisa fenichell Oct 2014
The first time I ride the subway by myself
I am 14 and expecting ghosts: I wait for them
to appear in the train windows like strong clusters

of wind but instead everything is still and crowded
with nothing but ripples of people. The first time I

ride the subway by myself I am 14 and expecting
some sort of suicide. Once I read about a woman

who hung herself from the metal bars that line
the ceilings of the trains, hung herself

like a constellation dragging down from
a lit-up sky. I drew a picture of the woman

and then a picture of her family but then
realized she probably didn’t have a family

and quickly threw the picture away.
My mother found it, saved it, it hangs
on the fridge now. The first time I ride the subway

by myself I am 14 and I want to kiss someone. (I come close
to touching a stranger’s hand, then his waist, then I recoil.)
849 · Jan 2014
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
She says throw out the dishes she says go to sleep she says
we’re definitely getting older everyday you’re getting older
everyday she says how does my skin look she says where is the moon
she says no she says buy me a water, unlock the door for me,
the bus is here she says I’m ten minutes late twenty fifteen thirty
thirteen the astronaut is here and he’s about to leave without you
goodbye rocket ship she says I’m a rocket ship she says you’ll never
be a rocket ship she says your face is tarnished ruined like
knives left unsharpened like blackberries creamed on the walls remember
the deathwalls

she says look at us

we’re talking in rhythm now.
800 · Jan 2014
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
i bruise my knees on wintered floors. you can
tell so much about a person just by being  
in their bathroom. now i know why your hair always smells like
coconut. is there a holiday that you spend taken away by
isolation? what’s it called? that’s what i want to name you, maybe. you told me
to come up with a nickname for you in your last letter. i haven’t yet, though,
because nicknames remind me too much of skyscrapers --
too permanent, you can’t move them, our limbs
should move more from this bed.

i spend two hours in bathrooms, leafing myself open.

i spend two hours missing you, swerving from full
to empty, back to full again. you’re giving my honesty back to me now.
there’s too much of it, stop it, stop this, i don’t want to eat any more of it.

last year, i lied to the beard-strewn man
on the subway. the subway seats were too pale. i called him
my grandfather when he left. he looked the way my grandfather
looks in the scarred photographs my parents keep underneath dust.
my grandfather looks like a tombstone, still, but i’m waiting for that to change.

i’m being too honest with you again. i swallowed saltwater this morning.
look at how elegant it looks leaving my eyelids. look at how horrid.
but it leaves and i thank you for doing this to me. i thank you,

kneeling in a bathroom. kneeling in your bathroom.
i think i’ve started to pray to a toilet.
749 · Oct 2014
summer in Connecticut
loisa fenichell Oct 2014
with a boy whose palms seemed constantly marked
with calendars. lying next to him
in his twin bed covered in blue sheets
I made the mistake of asking him to sing
me psalms -- neither of us

were religious. I told him
that his room smelled like an old church
and that I’d only been to a church once
with a childhood friend
and that everybody there drank the blood of Christ
except for me because my family
has a history of alcoholism

the first time I saw his stomach I saw his
whole body and his knees looked tombstones

the first time he saw my stomach he saw my whole body and I whispered
over and over again silently underneath my breath
silently like an anxious fire ‘do not look at me’ the first time
he looked at me he told me I fainted: that night I
had dreams
of cutup magazines,
of hands that only bleed in playgrounds. somewhere that night
lying atop his stomach we heard a girl next door
screaming the way owls do. I’d seen her the morning before
and she’d been beautiful like an old wedding dress.
742 · Dec 2014
loisa fenichell Dec 2014
Boys with faces
like beds full of bloodstains.
Boys with faces
that drown best during winter,
when all the wolves in the town have just been killed.
Father every day goes out with his gun
to see what he can shoot. He leaves the house quietly,
leaves through the screen door, through the porch, his footsteps
soft as my old nightgown:

I was young, then, in that nightgown. Young, but
I remember the small bathroom downstairs
and a weathered hand ****** deep underneath the tight skin
of my chest. Everything seemed ****** then.
Everything seemed six years old vision then and he was my father’s age.

A week later the same weathered hand was on television,
this time dead, this time run over by a drunk boy.  

Tonight I love drunk boys, tonight they are the only boys
I could ever love. With their eyes blank and white, they look just like my mother.
Neither of my parents know about the nightgown. My mother
does not know about my father’s shooting. My father
does not know that I know about his shooting. At night once I was awake
and heard a gunshot and pictured a car belonging to another drunk boy.
In my dreams the same man is dying, his body crushed by a car, over
and over again. In my dream there are no drunk boys (no boys), there is just me.
In my dream I have never had parents and father has no hands
with which to shoot.
loisa fenichell Sep 2014
there is rain and there is lightning and there are trees
and in one corner of the field there are
two women
in long skirts, white like your boy's face. they are picking
flowers just for you (for your hair): hydrangeas and lupines. in this dream you do not have a name, just a mouth, to swallow the rain, and the clouds that hang
overhead like dead kingfishers are heavy and black and swole
with more water. your clothes are not wet in this dream. 
your skin is, your skin is pink and wet, looking the way it did
the day of your birth, but your clothes -- mother's old blue dress curled 
carefully around your knees (the dress is too small -- mother
has always been so tiny, so much tinier than you are) -- are dry as your lips. 
your stomach is churning, you are standing in this field you don't know,
and your stomach is churning as though you love a boy. you do
love a boy, but not like this. your boy is pale, your boy is quiet
as your childhood house, and so your love for him
is quiet as well, it never churns, but now your stomach is churning,
with rain, maybe, with this dream. you think about the boy,
but he is the wrong boy. you are ready to wake up.
732 · Apr 2015
body poem
loisa fenichell Apr 2015

a message from a boy i don’t know
that begins with, “i’m J’s cousin, i’m trying to locate her, can you....”
i don’t know how to deal with those
who promise death,
so i don’t finish reading it,
bile mixed with guilt building in my throat.

last night J told me her body was falling apart.
i didn’t know how to respond.
i know bodies without bones too well
but i don’t know how to talk about them.
i don’t know how to parse away
the skin from the bone of a pig
when i’m standing in the middle of a cold barn,
more naked than i was when i was born.


i am naked with boys who i don’t know,
but who fold me in half anyway, then fold me apart,
then spit me out like i am
the bitter taste of a dead dog.


keeseville, ny is upstate is a place
for stained dresses & burnt milk & spoiled prayers,
where i spent every summer in a body
made for somebody smaller.

i’m realizing now that i’m not small,
everyday i’m the opposite of small,
but these boys still look at me
with frightening scrutiny like i’m a goat who belongs in a bed
& if i’m not pet, not fed, i will give out.


sun hangs across the sky
like blood across my underwear.
yours or mine?
from which part of the body?
725 · Feb 2015
loisa fenichell Feb 2015
I sit on your brown and ***** couch with my legs
folded underneath my ever-growing body.
Your house makes me want to *****, but I’m too afraid
to ***** inside of your house. You never *****: you’re too
tall and lanky, your spine too well-dressed. You never bleed, either.

I always do; always when I’m with you
there is blood on my big toe, blood soaking up
the skin that sighs in between my large legs.
Do not touch my legs, or my stomach. I used to know
when to stop with you, how to stop with you.

I stopped feeling safe with you this summer.
We both had chapped lips. The states we visited
were as dry as your dusty and battered car. We spent
this summer sleeping together atop unfamiliar grounds.

Not once did we have *** in your house, but still,
now that I’m here, my stomach is in pain as though we did.

I still want to *****. My mouth still tastes like your car, like exhaust.

Somewhere in the background you are calling me beautiful,
somewhere my eyes are closing, then everything is yelling
the way a father does. I am trying to remember being three years old again,
everything pink dresses against grey houses. How much would you
take care of me if I told you I was sick? What would you do
with my hair? I have dreams of you in which your body
looks like that of a still born’s, your face like cancer of the bone.
loisa fenichell Sep 2014
There is a small bruise
spreading across your forehead
like wine across the body of a saint.
Your forehead is resting on my sheets,
cotton and white like sinners. Our bellies
are sweaty and naked. My belly has been bloated,
spread out and looking like a high peak, for over
a week, and I’ve never not wanted you here,
in my bed, on top of my bed, more than now:
our shirts are both blue, our shirts are both
lying on my floor. I am shivering, trembling
like moths in a burning house.

In a dream we are walking through
a train station that looks like an
alleyway and you are letting go of my hand
slowly and I am feeling like a church
made of grass and my limbs are feeling
like graves and across the train station
that looks like an alleyway there is a girl
in long clothes beckoning to you and you
come and I am sprung up drenched
in pools of my own sweat as though it were
July all over again.
loisa fenichell Dec 2014
in winter it is my first time home in three years.

I am in my bed again with a body full of volcanic acid
and a throat nervously full of phlegm as repulsively sweet
as the water of the river that I swam in when I was still young
and naked and fleshy. I have not been  
young and naked and fleshy in three years.

My bed is as hard as I picture your body being tomorrow
when we are both in your car again
and your face
still crumbles open like a basket of bread.

My mother has never baked bread.
My mother at night lies alone on sheets cold as the light from a moon.
Her voice wails like a pair of haunted hands.

Last time I saw you your voice broke apart
atop your final word to me.
Before that your hands were on my thighs like a new curse.
Since then I’ve pictured you standing with raw hands
cursing into brisk air. There are times when I try
to picture my body into something smaller, like a ******
raccoon against the side of a highway strip.

There are no tall trees
in the yard anymore, nothing
to compare my body to. (Mother cries about them all falling
in past storms.)

When my father sees me in my bed he says nothing. He’s
best at walking with his hands sour as bees.
704 · Jan 2014
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
You see, my skin peels cold moths.
No, no it’s not like that, it’s more like
the feeling you get when you miss
the teeth you had before the fever.
No, you don’t know about that? Ok, I was
three years old and suddenly my
teeth were like bees. Never mind I’ll
tell you about the girl down the street. She’s
like me in that we both run even when it is as snowy
as the bottom of someone’s foot. Sometimes when
we run I’ll wave to her but I don’t think she ever
sees me because she never waves back. You’d like her
because she is like wires, also she is
more of a house than I am. She is the kind of person who
you can tell when she is cold. Oh and she doesn’t hug
streetlamps. But hold on let me explain:
it’s just that whenever I am marking myself
down pavement, whenever I am leaving my house,
I look at all of those streetlamps and look
at all of those brilliant lights creaking out of apartment windows
and pray into my knees that they are all
there for the plucking. That is to say I want
to stand on clasped hands and turn them into gods.
That is to say I am trying to be as bold as a mirror.
693 · Jan 2014
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
Let me writhe on pavement ripped
by sun. Rumor has it that that’s how
my mother was born.

Rumor has it that that’s how I was born, too.
I picture my birth the way I picture the bible,
happening between two gentle and soft fingertips. Reverent whispers,
because, not to brag, but I was the first child. The first child,
the hardest child.

I like to think that it stormed that night.
That the rumors are wrong.
That I wasn’t born in the sun.
That the night of my birth, the electricity went out,
and my parents were left without light.

I like to think that they wept when I was born.
That they wept again when they could finally turn on a lamp,
and watch its sparks burst the way I did from the womb.
675 · Feb 2014
loisa fenichell Feb 2014
On February 5th :
I am learning
how to drive
in between
of snowy colors.

On February 5th :
If you look closely
you can see my
mother with her
legs firmly planted
onto the passenger
seat; she is silent
until we pass
a collection of deer.

We pass a collection
of deer and my mother’s
arms look the same
as mine do when I
am angry. Her face
is the Atlantic, full
of irritable little wrinkles.
(My mother’s face is always
the Atlantic, full of irritable
little wrinkles.)

When I was younger
her wrinkles screamed
at me with over-used lungs
until my body grew limp
like radish roots -- it’s just that

when I was younger
I had trouble seeing
the large gap between
snow and static no matter
how many times my mother
would try to emphasize
their differences.

But both dripped onto my
prickly face like newborn wine
onto sidewalks; both looked
just like my mother’s old wedding dress.
this isn't very good, sorry
667 · Jan 2014
loisa fenichell Jan 2014
Pebbles and pistachios wrinkle in our pockets
like my mother’s attic wedding dress. From the side your nose
looks like an oil well. The gas station is 2.5 miles
away from here. We’re walking there for bottles that we’ll empty
and then leave next to churches in place of slaughtered lamb.
Sky punctures our wrists. You tell me the weather will be painting itself bruised
fireworks for the next week; I tell you about yawning.
It is summer and I am thinking about your hand overwhelmed
by sweat and how two years ago it was winter and your hand
was still broken but I made you hold my wrists anyway. Last
time we were in the park we drank like muskrats. Corporeal *****
stained the grass like knees: varnish for the ink that grappled
the insides of our tenderly wired bodies.
651 · Jan 2015
loisa fenichell Jan 2015
who knows how it works?  
the way I end up like my mother
in a dining room at a wooden
table eating for two

2. the way I take baths now
my body wrinkles in the tub
the way hers always did when
I was two years old just learning
how to clench my fists I would
clench them around the wrinkles
of her belly, kiss her temples
all round and sharp like the caps
of beer bottles

3. when I was just two years old
I would drink the leftover bathwater
I still sometimes drink the leftover
bathwater in all of its murkiness I was
drinking her body now I am drinking yours

4. she called our house heaven
if our house was heaven then
heaven is made completely wooden
our front door was heavy and isolated

5..  dirt paths dirt roads matching dry dirt
buried into our matching dry hair
our matching dry mouths our chapped lips

6. with snow pushed to the side of the ground
covering our feet like threadbare blanket
like a lost husband’s lost hands
649 · Jul 2014
loisa fenichell Jul 2014
My grandmother was born in Long Island
on the 5th of May, in a house as large
and as white as my parents’ wedding.

September of 2013
I scratched my eyes until they bled,
and then scratched them again
until they looked like the petals of flowers
my mother once tried to plant
in our backyard.  

These days my mother tells me stories
about growing up with my grandmother:
they’re stories of death, mostly: death resting
in the space between mothers & fathers
who sprawl atop their marriage beds
without speaking to one another.

Mother tells me that her parents were together for 23 years
before the divorce, or before her father died, she can’t
remember anymore.

I do my best never to think of her childhood,
but there’s research being done now
about how memories tend
to move from generation to generation,
very quickly and without warning.

Most of the time I feel like
a very poor animal in Mother’s eyes: I don’t move
the way I used to; not as much and not
as quickly. Now I sit still on my bed with my nails
clamped in between my teeth and listen to echoes
of me whispering that I love you, echoes of me
whispering that if I could I would talk
to you about how little I remember: I remember
women pretending not to know each other
and I remember them breathing into the spaces
where they didn’t belong.
635 · Jan 2015
water piles
loisa fenichell Jan 2015
my stomach in the bathtub
folded over and wrinkling
like the skeleton of my grandmother

hands that look too much like my father’s
blanketing my stomach like those of a cruel mother

on the best days the window next to the bathtub
is uncovered and I can see out but nobody can see in

on the best days I look down at a body
that is nothing but a pile of snow leftover
a week after the storm has past
somebody has forgotten to shovel me whole

there is a damp hole in my stomach and I am
staring at it unsure if I want it to melt
wondering who might fit shoveled inside
633 · Sep 2014
How to behave at a funeral
loisa fenichell Sep 2014
Neighborhood boy dies this summer.
Now you are in love with a ghost.
At the funeral you hate your body. There
you realize that your thighs have been
growing rapidly, like an infant’s breath,
and your stomach looks mountain ranges.
The boy in the casket is thin as ember. You
swell with jealousy. You do not cry. The last
funeral you went to was for your grandfather
and you didn’t stop asking questions,
about where he was going and who he’d be
living with. Now you are all silent stuffed animal.
You have not gone to church in two years, have
only prayed when the boy has been listening.
You could not love Christ if you tried; you haven’t
tried. You only drink his blood to feel as though
you are being touched by hands that aren’t yours,
or your parents, or the boy’s. Your hands look
like pet birds, always. Your hands are trembling
underneath your dress, pinching at your stomach.
628 · Jul 2014
radio static
loisa fenichell Jul 2014
i've started to pray
to the toilets of public bathrooms again.
on busses & on trains travelers
can watch me turn dizzy, faint, or,
even better, turn ghostly
like a grandfather.

i've been buying travel tickets
to my brothers again.
lately in my dreams they did not die,
they never died.

there was a joint funeral
& my parents hired a soul singer
to perform cover songs of elliott smith
& i stood still as ash, doing my best
to rip open my face & my palms
& my wrists.

that day was the first day in a week
that i did not eat,
that i did not make myself *****.

in dreams my brothers did not die,
but i still wait for their funeral.

my hands are roads again, or wheels,
all marked & nailed & bruised.
if you turn me into a river
then i will share my secrets with you.
620 · Mar 2015
loisa fenichell Mar 2015
(My fingers won’t stop growing like shells!
My fingers won’t stop growing,

but without water, just with food!)*

As I stand in this bathroom stall
in this congested church
I can’t stop thinking
about how much I hate my fingers, about how much larger
they suddenly seem. This stall is stained
in blood and *****
and graffiti that reads, “girls day 11/13/14.”
Nothing seems so sad and so dry as this stall does.

I think of you sitting in the pew
with your hand on the thigh of the girl
whose hair is sheared short as though
it were Judgment Day and she were an apple tree,
its branches cut into small, fragile pieces.

On Judgment Day
my grandfather died
and everybody in my family
and everybody in my town
went to the funeral

except for me

who cried
and cried and cried

and I’m still crying

for the way his skin used to fold over
like a moon violent in its softness:

1. he’s a dead man with a body like a fish
who has just ripped off its scales.

2. he’s a dead man who before he died liked to stand
on top of the one cliff that looks out onto town  
and yell, “I will not spill my guts!”
But he died anyway.

Would I be lying if I said I loved my grandfather? Would I be lying
if I told you who I loved?

Here: I will tell you who I love, for a dare (triple doggy dare style)
Here: this is an experiment
Here: on Judgment Day (on the day my grandfather died)
we’re all experiments; we’re all experimenting with those we love
in terms of the way we kiss them:

we go into the woods
just to touch each other’s chests.

We lie on tops of rocks and I kiss you
as though I still need more fat on my huge body.
615 · Jul 2014
loisa fenichell Jul 2014
1995: year the weather broke,
year Grandfather died, year Mother
& Father got into their first
argument: these days: Mother is always
jealous of Father: these days: Father tells more jokes,
makes more people laugh. 1995: year
I fell through Mother’s ******, blood circling
my scalp. 1995: year we all became planets.

You were born the same day as I was, only far across
the city. Your body wrinkled like the balding heads
of uncles. Your mother was not mine, but they sounded
the same when they screamed. Your father was not mine,
but they both had stomachs that looked
more like boys drowning in lakes than anything else.
year of the boar ufeel
loisa fenichell Dec 2014
there is rain and there is lightning and there are trees
and in one corner of the field there are two women
with wrinkled faces and long white skirts, making
their presences known the way you wish your grandmothers,
both dead, would. they are picking flowers just for you
(for your hair); hydrangeas and lupines.

in this dream you do not have a name – in this dream nobody has a name –
just a mouth, to swallow the rain, and the clouds that hang overhead
like dead kingfishers are heavy and black and swole with more water.
your clothes are not wet in this dream; your skin is – your skin is pink and wet,
looking the way it did the day of your birth, but your clothes –
old blue dress curled carefully around your knees – are dry
as your lips. you notice your stomach churning. you are standing
in this field and you notice your stomach churning as though
you love a boy. you do love a boy, but not like this: your boy is quiet
as your childhood house, and so your love for him
is quiet as well (it never churns). you dream about the boy,
but he is the wrong boy: a boy suddenly in the corner
of the field, a boy with a face too loud, like the flickering
of a dying light bulb in a darkening closet. this boy has replaced
the women with wrinkled faces and long white skirts;
they have disappeared the way grandmothers so often do.

now you are ready to wake up.
in bed next to you is a boy
and he is sleeping
with a body soft as the entrails of a mother.
578 · Dec 2013
Road kill
loisa fenichell Dec 2013
He’s 22 and still doesn’t know
the difference between
driving and dying. He thinks
a lot about how easy it is to
become road ****; if it is
winter will his parents ever
find his bones? He thinks
that it is always winter, mostly
because he is always so cold, mostly
because he never wears sweaters. His
parents tell him that winter and being cold
are really very different. His parents tell him to get a job.
His parents are lying on top of their duvet cover with
their mouths hanging open like empty parking lots.
He wants to tuck them into bed, because everybody
knows that going to sleep means digging trenches in quilts,
but he is scared. And anyway, they’re dying.
His parents die every night, so simply,
like brushing teeth or taking baths.

He’s only taken a bath once. He was so young
that his skin looked like a tumor, very pink
and very soft. His mother had been trying
to clean out his knees and was taking a very long time.
He was a battle wound. That same day, that very morning, he
had tried to climb a tree like a soldier but failed. Afterwards
his knees looked very much like rats. He remembers
the bathwater feeling like so many tests. He remembers his mother
telling him that making an effort to learn how to climb
anything is useless, unless it is because you’ve been buried
and you are climbing out of your grave with dirt filling your mouth like holy water.

Now he is sitting in his basement feeling very much
like bruised roads. He is thinking that soon he’ll drive all of the time
and each time he does he will have so much fun
driving by his parents’ bedroom window and waving
as though he is running away.

He tried running away once when he was younger, but
it took too long and he was tired and missed his bedroom.
561 · Feb 2015
Spillage for a friend
loisa fenichell Feb 2015

Kathy tells me about god in the bathroom stall.
She tells me about the time when he told her
that we’re really all just suffering together.
“I was at Harry’s basement party,
drunk leaning against a wall, standing by myself,” she says.  

She says she can taste the suffering the most when she’s standing in church,
eating one of those **** communion wafers.
I laugh without knowing; I’ve yet to eat a communion wafer.


When Kathy gets really drunk
she grapples at my hand
and forces it to her skin.
She says my hand sobers her up
more than water does. When I touch her forearm
it is as though I am touching a dead infant.

When I touch skin I am thinking about standing outside
in air that could only be so cold in the summer,
my body all bare, my body standing outside
of a loud and lit up house
with me whispering,  “please don’t touch me, just let me shiver,
just let me faint here peacefully.”

When I think of skin I think of my grandmother and her wrinkles,
of generations of wrinkles.
Looking into the bathroom mirror
I see the body of my grandmother and the face of my mother.
I am desperate for a toilet.


Kathy knows about the days when all I do is eat.
She knows about how much I like peanut butter,
about how my skin sags from my ankles,
hangs around my wrists. But still
she holds me when I must *****.
loisa fenichell Feb 2015
In October we picked apples that tasted like the tops
of teenaged mountains, apples that were colored red
like teenaged brides.

In October, a reminder to self:
Don’t ever forget the teenaged years.
Don’t forget the boy with the tongue like slick arrow.

The school was painted white with green trim, and the two of us
stood behind it like a pair of stag deer.
Remember: there is a difference between grey and white,
and I am not colorblind. Remember: this boy’s face was grey as the robe of a young monk,
and I am not colorblind.
(Remember: This boy is not a monk.)

Don’t forget being thirteen with hair licked short like a small body.
I stood with five other girls, I was flat chested, I was lying
about a trembling kiss. When one girl cried I should have remembered
to mean well, when mother called I should have answered, even
after she died, even if sometimes

mothers **** children. It’s just that they do so without realizing it (usually).

(Remember that mothers often lack bodies).

Reminder to self: bathe,
wash behind the ears: the chalk that still rests there from grade school.
The teacher made me write
I WILL NOT ****** BODIES, then, I WILL NOT ****** MY BODY, then,
each statement ten times over on the green chalkboard.

There was a hunger in my stomach back then,
rooted down like a pit of shaking guilt.
We ate apples covered in teenaged blood.
I could not shake it, the hunger. I still cannot shake it,
the hunger. We continue to pick apples with bodies
that are meant to be sorrowful.
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