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“the universe is so much bigger than you realize"

Updated: May 28, 2023

Every spring, I wonder how the worms

survive the frost. Surely, the red-breasted robins need

to feed in order to sing the way they do. a lullaby for the hunger,

for a mother following her children through window pleats

of sunlight. a jumble of feet pushing chlorinated goodbyes against a neighborhood

pool’s tiles. A well of pesto in my morning toast steals its way down in

coruscating rivulets running through my fingers. A common thief’s treasure

for the taking. What, asks the internet, is a Saint? This is where

our knowledge diverges. What, asks my father, do you have left

to lose?

That week I spent with you under the concave

belly of a church’s rafters. We played that one

word game on your phone & avoided the eyes of God which is to say

the elderly lady in apartment A206, clanging her keys

across the hallway & turning her back every time you

come over. asking me, Gonna settle down with a nice boy soon,

honey? as if through the apartment wall I hadn’t been

reading a Siken poem to you & watching your chest

rise and fall. Watching is the same as consumption,

someone once told me, but I had to choke

out your name, all bone-splintered & fractured marrow

to watch you come running. Forgive me, for to name something is

to lay claim to it. Forgive me, for I cannot help but want your

white-hot brand on my skin.

In another universe, I am something more

than a hunger. I devour buttered bread in the morning

& your laughs in the checkout lane. In another universe,

none of my words are holy

because I spend all my love recklessly at the cashiers instead of

turning it into grimy pocket change. In another universe,

I am something more than how the hours keep on

beating out a tempo with his mistress’ back

against the wall. I am something

more than this belly full of

want. In another universe

I’m so hungry for it, baby.

Editors: Alisha B., Blenda Y., Luna Y.


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