Alexandra Naughton | Poem

Nothing, yeah

Nothing, yeah. I was always like, yeah that’s the one I want to be! So alluring to feel like nothing and then actually be like nothing, but still be present. Like it’s an ideal, it’s a fiction. It’s only something you can try to do.

Writing out only the parts you like to remember.

Make me invisible like how I feel at parties: colors and sounds washing over me like I’m miniature and standing inside of a pinball machine feeling lost and everything’s just banging around and lighting up and making noise and I keep turning my head to try to keep up. Make me invisible like the chattering cacophony of a sweaty crowd: cover me in so much, too much, just block me out, lose me.

Make my expressions invisible, like friends really don’t even get it, so I try to describe it calmly while getting brushed off and eventually overheating but frozen on the outside like a stunneddumb animal about to get hit by a car that you always hear other people talk about and it sounds unbelievable until you see it yourself, until you are that animal in the crosswalk.

You like me better when I’m bendable, when I don’t voice preferences. You like me better when I open myself up for your inspection. All laid out on the asphalt, straddling me and wetting yourself in my cold sweat. Asking so many questions, wanting to know things that I don’t. You like poking at my soft parts. Pulling meat out and squishing it in your fingers like plastic wrapped factory bread.

Shrink me, make me feel small. Empower yourself that way. Lean on me until you’ve sunken me into the mud and I’m stuck there for a while. Make me invisible that way, that ordinary way you do. That subtle way you do. Make me not know myself make me lose myself so you can find yourself.

Make everything feel invisible like you’re not as nice as you think you are. So accustomed to taking up space, making yourself loudest. Make me invisible like I made a joke and only you heard me, so you said it louder and everyone laughed. Like this happens so often I wonder if I am even speaking out loud sometimes, start gaslighting myself, under some invisible control. Make me invisible for your satisfaction. It’s a secret. it’s not something you would share.

Make all the efforts of others invisible because it isn’t cool to care but you are still the only thing that matters and if you’re unhappy then we’re all unhappy. Invisible because you’re the only one who gets to take time to eat. The rest of us are rushing through a quick fifteen minute break, scarfing sandwiches we made when we woke up. Waiting for the right time to walk away to pee.

I’m not invisible and I don’t even need to complain about anything. I feel invisible and being constantly reminded of it just makes the situation seem more futile. Like I could save up, I could prepare, I could speak out. Make us see the invisible cities like they’re there they’re just hella neglected. We’re living in apartments paying rent and wasting time, propping up the wrong ones. Paint over the details make the meaning of it obscured because someone’s making money. Keep details invisible because we all think that could be us one day.

Why make invisible always my first choice, my go to. I guess I’ve always wanted to be a ghost. I guess I’ve always tried to make myself smaller. Make it harder for people to find me.

Make it easier existing on an at-will basis. Silently watching, listening, wandering around aimlessly, and enjoying it unseen. Easier to slip away.

Make me invisible to catcallers.
Make me invisible to creeps on public transit who hover over my shoulders.
Make myself invisible so that you can not sexualize me.

Carry around a cloak of invisibility, always at hand, always in my backpack, that you never take off. Facebook blocking public access. Like if you’re not going to take me seriously you also don’t get to look at me. Covering my body. Covering my head. Shapeless and hazy.

What am I trying to say here. Something about commodification of the flesh. Something about finding it customary. Something about being just another bitch who is feeling things and I’m not even sure if my voice is necessary. Something about working behind the scenes but am I even working. What am I even doing. Something like feeling more burdens than powers but working with what has been dealt out. I guess all powers can go both ways.

Is invisible like admitting defeat, or is it like acquiring it. Invisible like a transient state. Invisible like a downtick.

Is there subtext here. Do you want there to be. What do you want it to be. Maybe we should workshop it. Let it become someone else’s text. Just keep editing me out.

Invisible like something insidious. Invisible like destitute. Invisible like displacement. Invisible like disassociation and you think I’m just being dramatic. Invisible and there is no one who can help. Invisible and no one can hear you scream, or they hear but no one looks up. Invisible like you’re yelling into a pillow, spinning out over nothing. Invisible and you know they can see you, they’re just pretending they can’t. Invisible and they’re laughing about it.

Invisible like something that used to be, now a trace.

Can you see her, she’s being trafficked
Can you see her, she’s being manipulated
Can you see her, she’s getting stepped on
Can you see her, she’s smiling and putting up with your shit
Can you see her, she’s being exploited, but like in a really mundane way

If I could be seen as a force instead of an object instead of a hobby, if I could just do without having to be seen, or if it didn’t matter to me at all, I could be invincible.

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Alexandra Naughton has done some things but really she wants to do so much more. She is already pretty accomplished with 6 poetry collections and a contest-winning novel (American Mary, published by Civil Coping Mechanisms in 2016) under her belt, not to mention her own literary house, Be About It Press, which has been publishing zines, chapbooks, and full-length poetry collections since 2010. She is currently working on a new novel, tentatively titled A Soft Opening and is seeking representation. Find links to her writing and find out more about Naughton on alexandranaughton.com

2017-11-29T20:32:56+00:00 November 29th, 2017|