Poetry Selections from "Any Time"

Beginning in the center of the magazine on Page 37: "Deadweight" In ten days, it'll be three months since you left. I wish you cheated. At least you lied about how much time we'd have. I wish I hated you. At least you don't answer to prove you don't care. I wonder when I'll see the date and not count how many days it has been. When I'll let go of the rope you used to climb. I am tired of the weight. "Woman Working" My head remains a construction site. The worker is depressed. Hammering misery, screwing pain into the walls being built in the house I did not ask for. I hang pictures of real smiles in the deep blue hallway to distract from the crumbling foundation. I use music to silence the knocking of his name on the loose frame of the front door I'll hide behind, so I won't have to see his face. I am stuck inside, loving the person I fell in love with But he doesn't live here anymore. He isn't him anymore. Just me with my memories.

Poetry Selections from ‘Any Time’

"Playing dress-up" Arranged In no order, On a glass tray, 18 perfume bottles Neighbor 9 colors Of nail polish Renting out The purple bowl I stole from The kitchen. 7 lipsticks Eager to call my lips home, Wait their turn Every morning, behind 13 brushes Preparing to begin the dance Up my carved cheekbones And around my undesirable jaw. 20 pairs of high heels Face forward in my closet, Whispering How much they adore The arc Of my calves. I have all of these useless, crucial things To make me Feel pretty. I have nothing That makes me feel pretty. "This Is Me Screaming Now" I was born a woman. With two large breasts And a weakness between my legs, I am a woman. With that, comes specific and mandatory obligations: I have no choice but to look behind me when I walk alone. To look behind me when I drive alone. I must sit up straight and listen when my father tells me not to trust men. A man. I must apologize when I say no, but a man doesn’t hear me. I’m sorry, I should have screamed. I am the object of man’s desires. He follows me. He looks forward. I look back to all the women who were forced open and spread wide only to be slammed shut: Iron doors built and locked by men. I am told to Relax. I am pressured to Calm down. To live in the ignorant little pink bubble blown from the lips of a man who didn’t hear me say no. A man who doesn’t think That really does happen here. “In this town?” A man who doesn’t know any guys like that. The doors of my home don’t have locks, locked by a man who didn’t hear me say no. But Her doors do. And so do Hers. I can’t put my trust in the world. Men told me not to. Men were right about this. "From the Waitress’ Diary" My skin shifted around my bones like it didn’t belong to me while I served him his beer. I wished To be able to unzip this costume disguised as me, but I spent an hour dressing its smile up this morning with blush, lipstick, and a skirt that twisted around my waist and squeezed Until my favorite color Red circled my hips If I could, I’d hang my flower petal flesh up in the closet and hide from the wink he lovingly branded into my nightmares “Thank you, Sweetie”. My mouth filled up with insecurities like wet cotton balls were all I’d ever eat again, like I was no longer allowed to swallow another violent breath of air, only smile and spread for him. I knew I had no time to grow wings and take off but Sir, please put my clothes back on, I watched you shred them in your mind. Tell me, Sir if I were a man, serving you, would you touch my lower back again when you demand another beer? "Killing Sunflowers" I am the petal she plucked While she repeated your name. You love her, You love her not. Your name echoes with each kill. He loves me, He loves me not. I fell to the ground Alongside the other Torn, yellow petals My small body laid withering, Loving him, Knowing there were more. More just like me. Breakable, Colorful, Beautiful. A flower, no more.