When my itch for you surfaced like a drowned rat
in a swimming pool, I took the plea bargain.
Spent the whole summer upstate. Fly-fishing
with my tongue. When you cast a lonely line,
I dredged my suitcase to the mouth of the river.
Your apartment is so tiny, I forgot that I promised
to sleep on the floor. I woke up to the cracking
of egg shells. A patient cup of coffee. You forgot
to cook the black beans. Spooned them raw
into my omelet. I swallowed each mouthful
of stones whole. The best way I know how
to love. You outlaw the apologies. Rip
the freckles off my skin. You ignore the blood
that stains the paneling. Too busy deciding
if my eyes look green or blue when I wear
that shirt. When you ask about the fanged men
from the locker-room, your voice is a funeral
organ. Never ask me to rewrite the endings.
Just pretend that I’m happier. The night we sucked
champagne out of each other’s palms, you mentioned
my spitball smile. Said I would have picked on you
in high school. The night you ordered a Screwdriver
at the dive bar, I laughed at you. Then stabbed myself
with it. I wait for her. Gnaw my fingers to pulp and bone.
The plain and proportionate girl. You will whisper
her name like a razorblade. I wrap our telephone wires
around my neck. You bought a letterman jacket
at the thrift store today. I won’t tell you that I imagine
you slipping it over my shoulders.
It’s already snowing upstate.
Chelsea Coreen is a full-time sparkle enthusiast. She was a member of the SUNY Oneonta poetry slam team and competed at the national College Union Poetry Slam Invitational for three consecutive years. She has been published in Art and Scope as well as Selfies in Ink, and recently released her first chapbook Glitter Bomb in March of 2014. Follow her on Twitter @chelseacoreen
Rachel Kertz was born in a small town in Missouri in 1988. While earning her degree at Southeast Missouri State University, she became interested in photography and began using her commutes as excuses to go on long drives through the rural countrysides, hoping to find locations and abandoned houses to photograph. She hopes to convey relatable stories in her images that speak to her audience on themes such as loneliness, love, exploration, and the feeling of being alone in unconventionally beautiful places. You can find more of her work here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/atticgirl/