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Rebecca Gismondi Jun 2017
she scratches her back,
marking territory on translucent skin
they are of the same opacity -
as if upon meeting they scanned each other’s bones
to ensure strength
one has a way of smiling
where her lips pull against her gums
and the other has the tendency
to flip the pillow to the cold side before sleeping
they are never not entwined
they never had to get used to
two sets of bras in the dryer,
a hairbrush constantly covered with
each other’s blonde hair,
never using the condoms in their jewelry boxes
it was easy
is easy
when one asked the other
for a matching tattoo,
she put her partner’s initials on the soles of her feet

the birthday party was in full swing by mid-afternoon
no one in the party had hair any lighter than charcoal
and the birthday girl was four, wearing only one shoe
all the women were clad in floral bikinis;
the ripples of their stretched skin on full display
in this circle, they honed their cultural energy
with coconut water and bongo drums
the guest of honour was passed out within an hour,
but they had come all this way
and wanted to make the most of it

the night before she had found herself
entwined with a bodybuilder ten years her senior
she turned her hands over and over,
checking for signs that she had changed
but as the dog licked the inside of her legs
she was at peace with the fact that she always
belonged in a stranger’s bed
he said she felt good
and pressed welts passionately onto her ***
he wanted to take her sailing on the lake the following day
but she preferred to sit on a man-made sugared beach alone
Rebecca Gismondi Apr 2017
my roommate is
an extended sigh
she wakes up every morning and
makes French-press coffee,
which is foreign in my household
she has a soft heart,
liked a bruised peach
and when I smoke **** in the evenings
she talks about art house films
over sautéed cucumbers
and I pretend to listen

I read somewhere this morning
that you should replace all your
“I’m sorrys”
“thank yous”
like, instead of
“sorry I am such a mess”
it should be
“thank you for loving me unconditionally
thank you for wanting to have my name coat your tongue
thank you for refurbishing my past like an antique dresser”
I haven’t once spoken these words
since being with you

I walked down College without headphones
I could hear my blood’s humming voice
I carried the same three treats I bought with you:
a brownie
a s’mores bar
a Ruffles chip marshmellow square
at Crawford, I could hear you in the box
scratching like a rat
when I got home,
I lit a candle
and ravenously ate you on my bed
Rebecca Gismondi Feb 2017
my atoms

have always loved your atoms.

you caught me off guard
like a subway pulling too

out of Ossington Station

(I couldn’t ground myself)

you remind me of my last breath:
taut, slight but necessary


with me

I still feel your words
growing up my spine
there are dead roses
covering my sheets from you

and although he picked them up
and wrapped new vines
around my front door
and gifted me jars filled with conversation

the tattooed pilot wings on his chest
are reminiscent of yours flying above me
Rebecca Gismondi Nov 2016
my favourite

part about being drunk is when
I hold the end of a cigarette by the flame
it doesn’t burn my fingers

I am invincible

I love when I’m drunk
and you weave your fingertips through
the holes in my tights

close but not enough

if I’m drunk enough I’ll let you
walk me back to your apartment in Bushwick

the hallways looking
like The Overlook Hotel

while you push me onto your bed and tell me
all you want to do is lay naked next to me

next thing you know I am your outlet

I am a thousand resonating nos

mine is every body you’ve ever wanted
covered with glass

and you wind my hair around your palm
and I am drunk
off the New York skyline
off the back of an Audi
off a taco truck in a bar

that I submit
and I beg you
to fill all my holes
Rebecca Gismondi Oct 2016
king of the sea,
with a rigorous exoskeleton peeling away
moulting causes such distress,
exposed to the thrashing undertow of the sea
and enemies

who protects you?
a callow arthropod poised on fractured shells

it isn’t your father,
balancing a bottle of brandy between his lips
or your confidant,
skidding his tires across your mind

a starfish tried,
she threw her arms round your shell
as you added new muscles underneath
she stuck her tube feet in her claws
as you brittled her skin
she said I love you
and you retreated

when you are 70
and clamouring the floor
put your arms behind your back to beckon her to you
try –
she is the sea and no one owns her.
Rebecca Gismondi Sep 2016
it takes 8 hours and 1 minute to get to Gansevoort Street

they say to truly love someone
you must know them through all four seasons

barricaded branches prevented you from coming February 6th

black leather interior seemed like the perfect place

to evaporate
like a cigarette outside Baby Huey
punch holes in your arm like a belt
so a finger can’t trace it

without being caught
hornets under Dixie cups
razored wings carve out this body
phantom knee, nerve extension
push your thumb into its stump

regret pushing the willow
walking the length of dead grass to a childhood hub
a reminder of which sits on your bedside
as an 8-year-old pilot
spearheading a UAV to TOR

Dundas Square sees you in an amber light.
Rebecca Gismondi Sep 2016
I always feared when I was young

that my blue veins would bulge out of my hands

like yours
they are now deft with our flesh
you prop us up,

tchotchkes on a shelf
talk of your impending spring funeral,
peonies and tulips

take off
“***** donor” on your health card
because they’ve already been given to us

at seven in North York you
danced to Elton John by the front window,
ducking at the sight of headlights

I can avoid you like
rush hour traffic if it would save you
the trouble
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