dissociative daughter

her, self, immersed in water, lost in float

the mother scours island; fugue state or worse?

 

all homes of prayer for silence, sand on floor

liminality in paradise; any corner’s a chance

wet behind the ears

living very far away and having resigned herself to certain attributes

of my personality—which are mostly blamed on the poor

conditions of the countries I choose to live in

and/or my father’s side of the family’s genetic

predispositions, she finally instructs over the not so

small phone placed under the only plant

i can really keep alive—bamboo,

if you were wondering: “get it while you can…

your figure,

your brains,

your secretions,

—they all leave you.”

my mother advises, and the support becomes bakhtinian

grotesque in that instant.

i would like to bring this up to the poet women

whom i plan, cackle, dream, and dine with.

instead we like

to talk about how long we can last

until wet

or dry shampoo is in order.

 

whom are we challenging?

possible geometrics

the dark triad

makes a pointy triangle

we’d all like to avoid.

Narcissus, Machiavelli,

and your everyday Psychopath

all facing outward—shadiness backing

malignant male intent.

their blades blunted by those circumambulations;

the warrior women

inscribe around you, rotating your crooks

in our rounded chants.

we witness, we weaken: your corners

deadened in our curves.

what would Ovid have to say today?

still each enclave, cavern, cove

recalls the melted bones of Echo.

women now would hardly be

mythologically relevant once resolved

to sobbing into rotting.

 

still nature’s incessant longing:

lingering speech acts, howls, screams,

and moans recall a Nympha forever

dejected on all remaining forest floors.

 

as we with screen glance at self

in either black reflect reality, or checking

mechanistically the virtual imprint

of words we chose more carefully—

knowing the staying power of impact.

 

how would Ovid poetically differ

these reverberations, too, out of physical reach

from those he morally cautioned of a metamorphosis?

 

how is Narcissus any worse than us?

if not in mirror blankness, then in social

media portrayal, avatar, or influencing verbal

thrusts toward eternal self-conscious inadequacy

devolved to ego stroking lust or hashtag competency?

 

just because our reflections fit in palm,

on desktop, and in lap, does not make our

stance and angles chose any better than the rot

and flowers they’ve been warning us about

for centuries.

catch up

i find swing sets

it’s a thing i've always loved because it’s easy to control

but it’s fake freedom with chains and steel at the root, and the grip must be tight,

and your heels must eventually dig a bit, less graceful than perhaps you envision,

and so I make a scene each time

 

and seats outside

with women i have loved and love me back

become swing sets sought after behind more steel in less locations over longer stretches of time

 

the distance and time are measurements i prefer not;

those have been cliche since before we had grey hairs,

since before we had comments on the grey hairs,

since before we even knew what they would really fucking feel like in our hands.

 

the heights we look up to together became larger than our own;

we know we cannot feed each other’s wishes,

so we can crane our necks to see specks of people,

and we can tell each other all the disgusting layers of insecurity we accept;

we wash it down on collapsible tables because despite grey hairs, we still don’t call ahead for reservations

 

we speak of polyamory and jealousy and unwanted attention from wanted wells,

we speak of visas and how much power we have to get them,

we speak of our empty wombs and how much power we will need to maintain,

to keep them so—

 

some call us brave,

because we aren’t little specks with velocity and neck breaks,

we are here

and we are close

but we don’t hug anywhere near enough

and the fancy bathtub in the morning was impossible to use.

 

I want my swing set back

and it makes me break my spine to let out loud cries

on a tarmac

as warm water still spills on never been used white lies.