The Revolution Is Exhausting
& there is nowhere safe
to menstruate & hell
is round like birth control
I fumble with on the uncanny
toilet & I emerge, grouchily
into the season finale
of my life, innocently matte
yet wet at the corners
shy yet bloated & humming
trance-like with millennial-pink
mediocrity & I take myself
to the post-workday rally
arms brittle & numb as I hold
up my sign & never get hurt
knowing tonight I will be alive
in the kitchen with you, unhooked
as the smoke alarm & pouring
vodka into coconut la croix
& admiring your ski lift lips
our unshaven legs fully helixed
& all quotidian struggles smothered
or briefly eclipsed by the pop
fizz foam of sea-salted ardor
Sonnet for 2020
My manicurist is so damn excited I'm engaged.
My father is alive. Stay in touch, he texts.
A friend divulges over ice cream she lets her husband
come on her in the shower when she's not in the mood.
He just pulls back the curtain and goes to town. Everyone
is too heartbroken to make valentines once they grow up.
As a child, I always had scissors clutched in my hand,
ready to make shit. As an adult, I'm distracted. I'm livid
except when I'm comforted—which I think means
I'm a patriot. I know I love my partner because I let her
watch me cry. Kids fear things staying the same.
Then, each day, one more thing is never the same.
Turns out the revolution was about intimacy after all.
I propose marriage in a delicatessen. We split a matzo ball.
In my second life I notice small heaps of roadkill
either more often or in new ways—difficult to tell
if an animal died in a moment of desperation
or ambition, crushed into its most velveteen parts.
In my second life there are no mothers and
also many mothers volunteering for the job
and whisperings that maybe I, too, am secretly
a mother, per the children's furniture catalogs
wedged into my mailslot and baby formula samples
that land on my doorstep, already gone to waste.
In my second life cold yogurt hurts my teeth and
there are chicken carcasses in the trash, plucked
from soup, the likes of which my post-college kitchen
appliances have never seen. For my love, I shop
for earrings, candy, novelty spatulas; take a last-minute train
to see her when she's feeling low—I'm romantic, maybe
for the very first time. Otherwise, I'm still trying
to figure out what smells in the fridge. I don’t recall
much about college aside from the loneliness,
the grappling with uncomfortable truths—anxious
kisses and a personality of parlor tricks birthed
on the perimeter of daunting, snowy woods.
I’m a poet but I’m also ordinary. In my second life
I hunger. And so often, in a quiet room, a woman
considers me, peering over the rim of her eyeglasses,
and insists I, too, have the right to be in the sun.