HOT DOG TEAR DROP

the speaker box is aluminum
the voice of your mother
no— a sad, plump alien angel
cascading out its side
beams
“be nicer to her”

plastic gives you power
as you said

no, you didn’t
i thought you did
my memory lapsed
it often would

are you sad yet?

what if he ruins Paris for me?
no,
or the Dominican donuts in the Heights
and the Jesus tacos we never went to
the life in the mountains we didn’t lead
or the strudel or some desert you never made me

“you could be a secretary if you had to”
“no i couldn’t”

are you sad yet?

i plug my ears and can’t tell if I’m being rude

(unexpected) plans are for people who understand themselves

i am sucking on soft pink oysters in this parking lot for free will he, you, remember me in 23

i never loved before you loved me
lived me
let me

i am sucking hard pink oysters
i mean, silver

i am riding your bike
his bike
your bike
it is black matte
no, shiny
it is standing still

my tear is a hard drop
of a hot dog

its because you were
you’re a vegetarian

you, let me

if i wear Larry David on my legs when we’re not together can i still be free?

are you sad yet?

i want to suck the milk duds dry at the top of the most expensive building in Manhattan
the one owned by shell companies and Russian oligarchs
not thinking about you
or how you said you thought
you would give me a cereal ring
here
symbolizing unhappiness
and maybe, love

not thinking about anybody
and spitting them out
one,
..by one
..till they hit the embryos of the unwed
unfed
mothers
on 5th avenue

the speaking,
speaker box
is not my mother

no longer your mother
or you

i don’t have to be a bound woman
like those witchy tarot card rules
or my childhood TV

it is now a
lavender grey
no, periwinkle
it’s not what you let it
meant it

are you sad yet?

let it,

me

i could have loved you forever if you,

but I’m glad you didn’t let

but,

thank you for the leggings.

.

.


Emily Present is a Brooklyn-based poet. She also founded and edits the literary and arts magazine, glitterMOB.