Catherine Pikula


His dick is in my mouth, and I can’t do anything with his dick in my mouth but hate. And I will keep his dick in my mouth, but I hate it as I cram it down my throat. The taste of it like a cliché or peanut brittle.

I said it wrong. It doesn’t have to be good; I didn’t mean to imply that I thought it wasn’t good. (Was it good?). I started turning over the lemon. The fruit flies disperse, the fruit flies won’t die. I haven’t turned over the lemon.

I swallowed a box of slating nails with tahini. Not everything is good. (I am allergic to tahini). Epiphany. I didn’t mean I haven’t seen this before. I started turning over the lemon. The fruit flies won’t die when I clap at them. The fruit flies don’t die. I am terrified of these lumps on my tongue. Is this leprosy?

I haven’t turned over the lemon. I am stuck on the flies. I am stuck on the flies. How I don’t want his dick in my mouth, and the face that he makes in pleasure is ugly like an old Santa’s face.

I spelled it wrong. Nietszche. N-I-E-T-Z-S-C-H-E written a hundred times. I said it wrong. Cha! Cha! Cha! I haven’t turned over the lemon because. Neat. Neat. Neat. I said it wrong. Niche. A Niche. A Niche. Ah! I’m going to come in your pretty little mouth.

I am turning over the lemon; I think there is mold. The flies have dispersed, but they are here! (I don’t love you). Turning over the lemon, I want you to remember I am crazy enough to pull the deer antlers from the wall and whack you like a tiny plastic mole in an arcade game. (I don’t love you).

I am making a face like crushing a can on my forehead or discovering maggots in take out containers underneath a pile of cardboard next to the stove in someone else’s apartment. (I turned over the lemon because).

I want to kill the flies. (Its wizened skin is the color of seaweed). I’m tired of silencing myself. (Still stuck on). I will say it wrong. All the pretty little mouths walk by.


When I say August it hurts.
I’m an iceberg. He is a white t-shirt
looming over me. I have a boyfriend.

I’m gay—and it’s not true and
it’s also true. I miss the last metro.
I should be more careful;

my clothes will outlive me.
My stockings come off
like a band-aid. He says,

What, do you think
I’m going to rape you?
It’s easier to imagine consent

than to admit I am too drunk.
Thumpty Thump Thump.
Over the hills of snow.

Some of my features can be eaten.
La barbe à papa or cotton candy
in Arabic means little girl’s hair.

At work, Antoine is in the fridge again
holding his tapioca pudding,
screaming, Non! Tu pars! Tu pars!

In the Jardin des Tuileries it’s raining
on a bronze bench called Confidence.
I am a staircase descending.

An ex texts, The house is cold.
I wish you could warm me.
I send the snowman emoji.

CATHERINE PIKULA received her MFA in poetry from NYU where she was a Writers in the Public Schools fellow. She is currently a private tutor and a teaching artist with Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Her work has appeared in Prelude, Swarm, and Potluck.


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