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Straight to Voicemail.

Photography by Adam Coleman

there’s blood stains on every pair of panties I own

I stuck em in a bowl and dyed them all black

I’ve had an IUD for ten years

and had a female partner for five of them,

go figure

and she hated knowing it was in there

past and future bumping her fingers

but I wasn’t going anywhere

just once,

I wish she’d reached for me

somewhere other than

a movie theater

a locker room

a bus stop


could she have known

all I wanted was to get off

in the mundane

of our bed

fall asleep on her chest

feel like a woman

be the held

Not the hold-er

but the hold—ee

every so often

a partner recently asked me,

after they’d cum,

what do you need?

and I started to cry

and couldn’t answer

and felt so dumb

not having an answer

what was the answer

no one’s ever thought to ask me that

I remember to feed the cats

and forget to feed myself a lot

tink tink little kibbles hitting the bowl

if there were baby food for grown ups

I’d open a jar

is that what vegetable juice is?

I’d give anything for an egg

but the store feels far

when I remember, I eat

I mean I really eat

a bear stocking up for the winter

maybe I’m a bear

I’m a hot sleeper

I sweat

in dreams I’m always running in a heavy coat

sometimes, I wonder if it’s menopause come early

but it’s been this way since I was ten

and in waking I’m running in an invisible cloak

heavy on my back but I wear it well

and that cloak’s name is dread

I owe you a free session, she said

: my therapist, after she’d double booked:

our free session at 9pm:

on the other end,

I hear her punching numbers on the atm

Uh huh, uh huh, as I spill my guts

she emailed an article for me to read

said, legally

I can’t keep treating you

outside of California

have you ever been dumped via text?

it’s kinda like that.

is this how every long distance relationship ends?

it wouldn’t be Christmas without abandon—

some form or other

I’ve been around this block since twelve

I’ve gotten the hang now

I’ll be alright

I’ve taken to gardening after sundown

and it makes no sense

but it’s when I feel like it

and it puts me to sleep

pruning those leaves

touching nature

with hands that have done love

and it keeps me from calling

keeping something alive

filling a can with water

I think it’s okay

is it okay

I think it is

that it’s all I did today?

how are you doing?


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