I called to say we have two lives
and only one of them is real
– Camille Rankine


Ever talk to someone
and as you converse,
you see a doubling?

Two things are happening at once.
Reality is the engine of fantasy.

The person’s face is
doubled over itself holding
a wedding ring and slipping it
over my ring finger?

This has happened to me
only once.

I am now filled with the desire
to complete this action.

I want the doubling action
and to marry this person?

I’m everything I once stood against.
A Hallmark card.

And he is now miles and miles
away with no idea
he exists in this second reality?

The peony has bloomed.

I read somewhere
that one of the five keys to happiness
is the ability to get over shit.

I’m thinking about that actor
who revealed a crush on Sofia Vergara
in an interview for People Magazine
and now they’re married
exchanging saliva
constantly giving each other head.
They fit.

The peony hangs heavier.
The weight pulls itself down.

Miss Piggy uses her whole body as a weapon when she has to.
What did I ever do?

Peonies look like paintings but smell like fucking funerals.

Amy Lawless is the author of two books of poems including My Dead (Octopus Books). Her third poetry collection Broadax is forthcoming from Octopus Books this year. She is also co-author of I Cry: The Desire to Be Rejected, a collaborative, hybrid book (Pioneer Works Press, Groundworks Series) with Chris Cheney. An audio chapbook from BROADAX is available on Black Cake Records. Her poems have recently appeared in jubilat, The Volta, and Washington Square Review. Her poems have been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2013 and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day: 365 Poems for Every Occasion. She received a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts in 2011. She lives in Brooklyn.