Before the Light
The memory of the heat of our bodies, together,
travels to me like a purple storm across the desert.
It seems impossible that I still remember, but this
body can’t forget: the charged contact, then quiet -
a cascade of sparks. Do you reach for me, sometimes,
when you wake in the night, before you turn the light
on, before you can remember where it is you are?
The Circumstantial Past
We were monogamous after the swelling subsided.
A circular second, your reluctance kept bringing you
back to me. That isn't conjecture - you pried a path
beneath my fingernails, always rupturing my enamel.
The circumstantial past obsesses me: furious partners,
faded welcome mats, rusted keys carried in your back
pocket. I steep in your history and split into dividends.
Collaborate, corroborate: tell me you sought me out too.
After Kim Addonizio, after Dorothy Parker
Some men drag so nicely.
Some men make you choke.
Some men ash all over the carpet
& leave cigarette burns in your
furniture as their only souvenirs.
You can collect some men & pull
them out of your pocket during
your moments of weakness.
Some men are listening to the
sound of the dial tone each time
you try to call.
Some men want to dress you up
in fishnets and pearls and throw
you over their knee.
Some men have already forgotten
Some men reserve a hotel room
then never show up.
Some men can hold their drink &
some men drown in it.
Some men just want to watch you
take off your underwear real slow.
Some men have tongues like
icicles & some men lick you velvet.
Some men just want to touch the
inside of your thigh.
Some men lay next to you hollow,
waiting for you to say the thing that
makes them whole again, & some men
want to dam you up until you flood.
Some men have forgotten how to laugh
& want to steal yours.
Some men are covered in yellow caution
tape & you still want them, the disasters.
Some men still remember your phone
number after all these years, while
some men never had to learn it at all.
Some men thought you tasted good.
Some men aren’t sure if they’re alive.
Some men are thinking about you while
sitting in waiting rooms & some men
are screwing up the courage to bring you
up in session.
Some men know exactly what they would
o if you let them see you just one last time.
Alexandra Smyth lives in Brooklyn, NY. She is a graduate of the City College of New York MFA Creative Writing Program. She was a finalist for the 2015 Cobalt Review Gabriela Mistral Poetry Prize and a recipient of the 2014 Poets and Writers Amy Award. Her work has appeared in Cobalt Review, Gravel, and TAB, among others.