Julie Stalmer 11 a.m., Dec. 12
- Kirsten Imani Kasai, publisher of Body Parts Magazine: The Journal of Horror & Erotica
Under the U Heights sign
Assaulted by sun, starlight dims
i loathe your neighborhood
- see the ghosts of myself on its streets —
- there! under the U Heights sign
- collapsed on grafittied bus stop bench,
- lamppost-leaning, sobbing.
- we shared our first kiss in that dive, corner bar
- our first fight, too.
- here is the shop where you braved
- driving rain to seek
- ice cream when i was sick, and
- here are the puddles of sick
- made upon the eve of your betrayal.
- there are florals in the eaves —
- spring blossoms you plucked for my hair.
- see that bird’s nest there?
- woven from the hair
- i snatched from your head when things
- got too rough and your teasing blows
- left bruises.
- i see you grinning, hopeful,
- your bright-eyed stars
- winking. twinkling.
- how could I forget that, when
- assaulted by sun, starlight dims?
- 1) There is nothing in you that sees me.
- 2) It is hard to be concerned with that which does not concern you.
- 3) Sentiment is the enemy of reason.
- 4) This light recalls you to me — stormy afternoons, pink-tinged. Sorrow.
- 5) When you look at me like so, rubbing your hands together,
- I know that you are the fly, and I am the dead meat.
- 6) And yet, she knows that deep ocean waves make the earth ring,
- bell-like, and hum
- that the conversation of elephants is subsonic
- that trees can “speak” to each other (chemical signals/tangled roots)
- that their perfumed breath births clouds and seeds them
- that we come from the stars — thus we rust, oxidize
- (what’s called “aging”)
- that she did not believe in magic until she learned these things.
by degrees: first, second and third
- i was not trying
- to be difficult.
- too this, you moaned. too that.
- it just … happened.
- how else could i express
- to you the brutal, cosmic scope
- of my love?
- it was as if i’d held your
- hand to the naked blue
- flame and dared you
- not to flinch.