Poetry, Michelle Leal
Cedar kitchen shelves brim with an arsenal of teapots from Houston’s finest
vintage shops but no genies emerge so I flip my mattress, build a make-shift
shrine out of broomsticks, blankets, and pillows; I pray for second chances.
Body covered in larva, guts growing weeds, so still vultures circumnavigate,
one hundred and fifty hours a week spent lying on the front lawn of the apartment
complex, and trying to melt back into the ground; I dream of you loving me back.
When the bathroom mirrors condensate and leave me without the company
of my own reflection, my mother lifts me from the shower base, wraps me
in a towel, and to this day I bear the sting of shampoo in my eyes every time
I pass the drive-thru because the voice over the speaker sounds like yours
in September, the last time we spoke, before I deleted your number in exchange
for some lax semblance of dignity after several glasses of Chardonnay.
Altruistic draft – a gentle
flux of supple torrents;
from a stand of sycamores
dance with nightlife
to the cicadas’ hymn,
rattle when the wind
of the masses who
misconstrued the absence
of someone for solitude.
I pretend the sole
scintillate in the indigo
empyrean is Polaris.
like a camera’s flash;
if Landsat 8 were to capture
me at 2:37 a.m., would
everyone see me for the mess
I am – pink flamingo
pajamas half sodden
in the swimming pool,
cigarette cherry lit,
chipped red polish like
Chile’s national copihues?
It doesn’t matter how many
seas I cross, desolation follows
like a shadow, or a second
skin, or an old friend
I’ve grown too attached to.
Michelle Leal is a Chilean-American writer. She likes drinking warm things. Find her on Instagram @michelleleal.cl