The 2River View 23.3 (Spring 2019)

Lindsey Siferd

elegy for all the goddamn feathers

someone once told me,
when you leave a good man,
you must make sure to leave a ghost town
so that if you ever try to come back
there will be nothing left for you to return to

but sometimes i still wonder:
what was the last time you got a nosebleed?
what was the last time you faked an orgasm?
what was the last time you smelled new dirt?

i wrote you a letter yesterday:
i haven’t seen one earthworm
since i moved to the city
but it still rains.

i wrote you a poem the first day i met you:
erase me erase me erase me erase me

i’m haunted by the ghosts of the children we never had

they follow me home from work
they beg for money at the street corners
they cry for milk

our children look like kittens
they look like plastic bags

and i didn’t think about you for seventeen days then i cried on an airplane

and my therapist said
he will never forgive you
so you need to move on now

but your death rattle voice, your broken glass smile, your stone teeth, your teeth stones, your teeth!

but when it felt like opening a switchblade into my palm
but when it felt like carving a bowie knife into my palm
but when it felt like sticking a kitchen knife into my palm

loving you was opening my mouth in the morning to speak and having my jaw crack instead

bojack horseman is the only kind of art i want to consume

did you know that 30% of the adult population
injures themselves while trying to remove their pubic hair?

did you know that if you sing into a plate of glass it will sound better?
(blackbird by nina simone is the only song i know how to sing)

my therapist said not to give up on dating
but maybe just do it differently
did you know what i said to that?

my best friend said
she’s pretty sure 90% of the men on bumble are bots
did you know what i said to that?
i messaged ten guys EAT ME and not one responded

i have a tattoo on the inside of my heart
it reads:

but there is still sand in my sheets from the summer
there are still condom wrappers in the trash can
and the voice in my head still talks all day long:

here is a boy in a lion hat
here is a bruise
here is the head that you asked for on a plate
here is the plate
here is the head

one thing i am good at is grieving for people that are not dead

one thing i am good at is constantly wishing i was skinnier

wait, no, i am constantly wishing i was smaller
if i could be an ant i would
if i could crawl into my mother’s lap and sleep i would

god bless my mother
who does not know what a haiku is
god bless the people who call TGI fridays “fridays”
god bless the woman who left a period stain on her seat on the c train
god bless penn station

the man on the train next to me has a hole in his earlobe and i want to put my finger through it

Lindsey Siferd is a college admissions counselor, with poems in Atlanta Review, Cimarron Review, pif, Vagabond City, and elsewhere. She lives in New York City.

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