My heart has become a deep bowl.
A pot like the one my mom uses
to make popcorn on the stove.
She stands like a heron,
all thin legs and poise.
Shakes the kernels as she tells me
the ways my father was always too big for her.
And for the first time I see her
as she is now;
a woman with an ex-husband,
fifty-eight, standing in the kitchen of her hollow house.
Tracing her life’s trajectory with a thin red pen.
I can hold it now.
I have carved out large parts of me;
basins in which to pour
moments like this,
when I hear that the people who taught me love
had an irredeemable fault line.
The certainty of a rupture
leaving them in silence and separate homes.
When she’s done,
I am heavier than before
but still standing.
The popcorn is slightly burnt,
Lily Myers is a senior at Wesleyan University. She competed on Wesleyan’s 2013 WeSlam slam poetry team, winning Best Love Poem at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational for her poem “Shrinking Women”. She writes a blog, The Shapes We Make (shapeswemake.tumblr.com), devoted to cultivating positive and compassionate feminism through poetry, essays, art, and activism. She is currently working on a young adult novel addressing themes of family and body image, to be released by Philomel in 2017. Follow her on Twitter: @lmyerspoetry
Adam Tedesco has worked as a shipbuilder, a meditation instructor, a telephone technician and cultural critic for the now disbanded Maoist Internationalist Movement. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in decomP, Drunk In A Midnight Choir, MadHat Lit, Pine Hills Review, Similar:Peaks::, Freeze Ray Poetry and Cartridge Lit. Most recently his unique poetic voice has been utilized by Canadian conceptual artist Isabelle Pauwels as part of her upcoming “27 Across 25 Down” project. He lives in Albany, New York with his wife and two children. : AdamTedesco.com
WHAT YOU CALL ONE THING I CALL ANOTHER After Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
In my defense, a poet once told me ‘poets make the best liars.’ In my defense, I slept with a painting of jesters above my childhood bed. In my defense, the painted lady and the razor in hand.
No, he never pried me open, never saw the blade fall from my fingertips. That was my truth. Still, I saved the best of myself for him—when the anxiety of lying with a woman who loved him began to soak through his clothing, I reassured him in kinder tones than I have ever used on myself. I was not a sin, I was a celebratory feast and he was no gentleman. He was a hungry fool with the meat of his last kill still hanging from his teeth. ‘Wipe your fucking mouth.’ I said. The mistake was letting him think I was prey. The mistake was letting him think he chose me.
In my defense, my favorite rides are the ones that spin you around the fastest. In my defense, I love when the floor drops out. In my defense, second place is first runner up.
Distance does not make us stronger, does not make us safer. It breaks down lies so that they are digestible by the time they reach the other party. I have loved harder apparitions that I have never met the ghosts of people’s quickly whispering fingers. I am a collection of late night confession and open door dreams, find myself attracted to old souls and wandering stars. When you allow the dreams of married men to unfold into your miles away life, when you start to drink just so you can turn your computer on, when the insomnia creeps in, know you have simply become a placeholder. It’s time to turn celebration. String memory from neuron to neuron like crepe paper and become welcome party to the grief.
In my defense, I’ve never met a carnival I could just walk away from. In my defense, I’ll always read your letters. In my defense, I tattooed my wrist to keep it safe.
Born and raised in New Jersey, SaraEve is a performance poet and epilepsy advocate from Union City. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Wicked Banshee Press (2014) and has competed in the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam. She now features and competes locally, regionally and nationally and is a regular volunteer at National Poetry Slam events. A member of the Poetry Slam Inc. Advocacy Group, SaraEve has facilitated workshops on Performance Poetry and Invisible Illness on both a local and national level. Her work can be found in Ghost House Review, Red Paint Hill Quarterly, Free Verse, Transcendence and Swimming With Elephants ‘Light As A Feather’ Anthology. A Stephen King nerd, she is currently involved in a 100 submissions challenge. Learn more here!