by Ruth Madievsky

Ruth Madievsky

I want my name to amount to more
than a bone passed between two dogs. I don’t
want catheters or shrink wrap or any more ceremonies
of fists. I want each rib in my body
to hold the shadow
of a lion. I don’t want strychnine. I don’t want
to be the peel on the orange. I want things
to get a little sloppy.
Let’s make Ouija into a drinking game,
play strip Trust Fall. Let’s not be knockout
pills. I’d like to pass a cherry seed
back and forth with our tongues
but I don’t want the anxiety attack after. I’ll keep
the three orgasms
during. I’ll keep the night
we were thunder gods, the night I learned
the moon has no light of its own,
I’ll keep unbuttoning my shirt
one button too many, I’ll keep the feeling
of being on two planets at once
but mostly on the one where you are
melting butter in a pan, where popcorn
is popping and there is rose wine on the table,
which is the same planet on which, in sixth grade,
Marcus told me he prefers shoe shopping
to football, and I told him,
That’s exactly why everyone assumes you’re gay.
I don’t want the electrons that left his face
and landed in my backpack. I don’t want meanness
to bobsled my brain. When I open, I want to be
the umbrella, not the pocketknife.

Last updated May 31, 2019