Upon Stopping to Talk to Dahlia On Broad Street
Yes, love, peeling mangoes from the floor. Yes, this,
my finger, inside myself. All the while the television
blinks with neon reruns, kinky electronic music,
reality game shows. I am entranced. Yes,
animals can get high too. Yes, all that humidity
I want it. Yes, I am needy. Yes, I am demanding. Yes,
tomorrow I am waking up in a place
I do not call home, & yes, this is the first time
I’m seeing you clearly in the dark.
Yes, if God were a drunkard, he’d be blackout
on tequila sunrises by now. It’s called
a good morning, love. Kick the dog
out the front door. Yes, my firstborn
was blue-faced as thunderstorm. And yes,
I still see spirits by the fireplace. A whole orgy
of voluptuous ghosts eating honey roasted peanuts.
Love you more, baby. Yes, they stole her
from inside this belly of mine. Sliced her up
until she glistened. Here’s the scar – see this?
They stole her. They stole her. Here’s the colostomy bag
to prove it. See? Even the 7-Eleven lights are insisting
I’m right. Listen. This is not a matter of whether they did
but rather what I will tell myself to fling the memory
like a million browned apple cores all across the pond.
Yes, I finished the last detox/rehab/stint four hours ago & yes,
my poor ragged mother died two weeks ago.
Yes, I am on coke again but really, I want to get clean.
I promise. I’m tired of the lies, the street corners
with broken beer bottles, all those suckled limes. Here
are my hands. Here, love, take them away from me.
Parisa Thepmankorn resides in a small town in New Jersey. Her poetry has been published in Hobart, Up the Staircase Quarterly, Words Dance, and The Best Teen Writing of 2016, among others. She is currently a sophomore at Brown University and serves as a poetry reader for The Adroit Journal.