By: Kallie Falandays
The Forest the Moon
One window in the distance with a light on flickering through the rain.
Because his heart is not merely a metaphor and because light always is.
And so if he dies or already has or might in some future time or wouldn’t
and never will it is because I did not love him.
I can blame nothing. I can take back nothing.
Because there are theories of stars floating in his sycamore eyes.
Because there is a dream in which no one has to love me.
Someone whatever is holding a piece of paper and staring out of the window assuming
the clouds will fury over them long enough until something solid comes weathered.
He talks about sorrow and enters it like a wound he wants to eat.
Eat is not a metaphor. It’s what the body does to it that hollows.
Not Wanting to Want to Love Anymore
The wet girl in the kitchen with the knife set.
The wet girl in the bedroom with a bucket of roses.
The flower girl in the attic with the stems—alive.
The alive girl in the cellar with the water.
The water girl in the steam room with the Big Machine.
The little girl in the backyard with the entire sky ahead of her.
She often thinks of him and her lips part metallic.
He, like the moon, the flowered moon.
Where m is moon. Where m is Matthew.
Where m likes to whisper dark secrets to the mirror:
you are ruined you are pierced you are bloodied you are fierce.
She once stared into his eyes and saw bark.
She came back holy holding nothing. Mouthing the word cloud—
her tongue dismantling off the roof of her mouth like a prom song covered in stars.
A shipwreck from March begins to shudder.
A fish appears on top of the water. Dead.
A single rain drop falls somewhere in Michigan.
[We think about the thing until we can’t think about it any longer]
We think about the thing until we can’t think about it any longer.
He says Spain and she wakes full of fog. Somewhere,
an apartment complex is shaped like a wrecked boat.
Somewhere in Philadelphia, a woman is jerking off a man below a table
at a wing bowl contest—for free. No one wins.
Everyone I have ever met looks like they’re strung up sometimes.
A surrealist painting where their hearts used to be.
A winter morning where they once quivered. Is it better to seek for meaning near the ocean
or to be tethered. To be full. To be untethered. To be full.
To craft your own cup and let the sky eat it. To become the sky and watch someone else die.
To let the sky eat you because you are old and hungry and don’t care if anyone loves you.
Yes, you will die and will defecate over every beautiful pair of slacks you’ve ever truly loved.
The brocade building of your dreams surely will crumble beside you as a man sleeps peacefully.
You will wonder about the shape of his dreams. You will wonder if you exist in them like a flower.
You will wonder if the blood in your dreams will seep into your tea. You will ache for that tea
when you’ve put the glass down and sometimes, even when it’s there.
Kallie Falandays is the author of Dovetail Down the House (Burnside Review). You can read her work in Day One, Black Warrior Review, The Journal, and elsewhere. She lives in Philadelphia, where she runs Tell Tell Poetry.