Intimate Poems for Platonic Friends
Some Great Disaster—
for Sheila Black
clouds loomed in a sandy African desert
like I’ve only seen in the movies
I heard over a bullhorn placed upon the largest pole ever erected:
flee to the right flee to the right
I was turned around so I picked a direction and ran
wind pounded my face I fell down and covered myself
sand dizzied me I wanted to sleep but someone picked me up
brought me to a bus station where another person wearing black
paired random people together transporting everyone to safety
I gave up my place in line a few times
I noticed if I played my cards right
I’d be paired with my poetry teacher
she was enchanting and sexual
I was be happy to give up my life to be with her
there was room on the bus for the both of us
in the midst of chaos sitting on our shared green seat
we found love in each other’s faces
we talked about what we would write after this disaster died down
our hands nervously and sexually intertwined
as the clouds all around us were forming
in gray and black swirls that touched the earth
we knew this moment would give us subject to ponder on
for the rest of our lives
we arrived at an abandoned community of English cottages
mixed with modern architecture: moss bubbled windows steel walls
this was our life: long walks around empty plazas holding hands
kissing collecting five cats
in our beautiful moment of stillness
details about the storm that destroyed most of the earth
were becoming uncertain
we realized there would never be an audience but each other
we took up our pens and began to write our poems
for Kelly Norris
is my first choice
a romantic dinner.
Can you imagine it,
scrapping our teeth
on each flower pedal?
When we get to the end,
will have to be split
Our Soothing Bodies
for Rachel Hansen
When we dream, a rationality filter gets shut off.
What happens then after we get stuck in an elevator?
One of us tries to complete The New York Times Crossword puzzle,
while the other is chewing her nails.
I finally break the silence and tell you
about the pinnacle of my loneliness last summer:
two women, wearing masks, practicing acroyoga in the park.
Their strong, different-sized bodies touched so intimately
that it was always startling when they packed up
and went their separate ways.
This story makes you cry, and you place your body into mine.
We both like how you fit so perfectly into my wrapped arms.
You whisper a story about how your son wakes up in the nights
just to sooth himself on your breast. I’ve seen this in nature
just last week when I stopped by the side of the road.
A fawn was separated from its mother by a chain-length fence.
I watched as it strained to make the jump over and over again,
colliding with metal with each try that was not good enough.
I was scared, but the mother came around.
It was a forceful reunion when the fawn, at once, took its mother’s teat
and rammed its head on the side of her,
which ultimately pacified the fawn after a few moments.
It’s after this story when you take my head into your hands
and kiss my forehead lightly. We breathe each other’s breaths,
as we tighten our hold onto each other.
When the elevator doors open, you let me walk you home.
Give Her Your Alleys
for Julie Larson
Let the unfocused part plot the story.
She wants the unheard, the withholding.
Don’t give her your crosshairs,
stop making the target the place to aim.
She wants the bruised fruits, the throw away lines.
Give her your worst.
She wants to walk by your trashcans,
because that’s where the deer families
roam quietly at night.
The image that accompanies this poetry collection is a painting by Toni Galata based on an image of @thefatposipunk. Toni is a part-time artist, full-time software developer, mom, partner, and spoonie. After starting a remote job, Toni started painting again as a way to decompress and unwind after long days of coding, remote learning, and pandemic-related anxiety. Finding softness and strength in fat bodies has been a consistent theme in her art. Finding much of the fat-femme-centered art in her feed to be fetishizing, Toni has sought to paint fatness as joyful, playful, and strong. Her Fat Goddess series epitomizes this desire to see fat bodies as the divine magic they are. Find Toni on IG @fat_mom_painting or on her website https://fatmompainting.wixsite.com/home