With love

Poetry

Sunburn

With my soft burning hands, 

I fell asleep in the gloaming waiting

for my body to unclasp itself. I got the ugliest suntan.

Every broken tail light is a totaled car.

I rely on my mother’s words to bully me 

into eating better. I make my bed with the lights off. 

I swerve into the freeway divider in my sleep.

 

This apartment gives me postpartum darkness from

The Loving that I have heaved out of my body. 

It’s 6AM and The Loving cries 

because I cannot hold it in my arms

because I do not have arms left to hold it in. 

My arms lie on the ground like two

unsatisfactory cover letters.

I cannot feed The Loving any milk from my breast without

drowning it in sour milk.

The first time I ever drank, I swallowed turpentine. 

I am the party I do not want to go to. 

I lie The Loving down next to me, 

now posthumously, in my matchbox bed.

I swear Thanatos is knocking at the door. 

With the space between reach and grasp,

I cannot hold it in my arms. I am in a cardboard inferno

and it turns out that Thanatos is just spray paint and markers.

Elizabeth Hsieh