Dallas Athent: September 2016 Poet of the Month

Botticelli

Botticelli

take 1 for the team

 

can i be drunk enough to take all of this?

the plight of the artist.

who can do justice to

the suffering.

 

cause someone has to do it.

someone has to make things.

and how do u even know

what’s good anymore?

 

i’m making use of you right now,

your piles of shit.

watch my hand be a wand.

watch this bitch be a witch.

 

all of us together,

people make so many

mistakes and then some.

they were gonna buy buy.

barely, they didn’t.

but at least it works.

it never works.

 

when bae gets laid off

i feel for him.

when we fuck

i feel for him.

when he coughs

unable to sleep

cause of his culture

of carharrt and pain,

oh i feel it.

but when i cheat on hearts,

and dream on stars,

i feel for me.

 

what could make us better?

what is missing even?

 

(TO. DO. LIST. 5.1)

 

drinking in the street. don’t give a fuck.

light up the night. apologizing for

ur damage.

 

stars in the night. see myself in the cold.

walking alone. pavement’s not hard

enough.

 

dangerous and dark. it’s where we live.

this is my hometown. i welcome you all.

 

apply again. don’t get a call.

doesn’t matter anyway. nothing is real.

 

abducted again. always eating animals.

looking fly as fuck. cry about it later.

 

got my nails done. bought a new skirt.

got fucked again. fucked over the world.

 

drank all the vodka. lodged in the summit.

everything freezes. wrap it in leaves.

 

anonymous bitch. question the world.

fall on ur face. rise from the earth.

 

epic foundation. rattle the bricks.

spraypaint the town. leave names behind.

 

grew old too fast. pissed off the neighbors.

burned all the incense. covered the evidence.

 

sang to myself. pizza rat in a cage.

despite all my rage. thank god for medicaid.

 

hitting people with words. counting the dollar.

don’t need that many. these streets are us.

 

let it be known

 

let him see me and know

that i am famous.

that i will always be paid.

these riches. this bitch is.

i churn out colors and get back

something tangible, so with it.

something to go to hell with.

something to rent a motel with.

 

SO THE QUESTION IS

if u see less of me,

will u love more of me?

if i don’t hit u back,

will u hit me up?

if u wonder where i am,

if i post less to the world,

if i starve myself to nothing,

well, just how r u gonna handle all that?

 

but he calls, and calls me what i am.

of course he does.

he knows that I AM DALLAS.

so there’s no starving.

berries all over my bed.

grease all over his head like,

a man yells in the forest

and the animals hear it

but if he yells at his wife

in the comfort of home well,

does anyone hear that?

 

stay still // i will

hear it, i mean.

i am.

the one.

who draws.

 

Lions on my shoulders

 

i said no when they told me

i’d need them,

 

lions on my shoulders.

 

they did not listen

they tried to mess around

tried to hold me down.

i told them,

 

there’s a girl to the side of me

doing the same thing i’m doing,

but we are not each other,

instead she is my sister,

it doesn’t matter. choose me.

 

WE ARE; minding our split ends trimming one by one

WE ARE; carrying drugs for him in the rucksack

WE ARE; deciding between a drink and a cupcake

WE ARE; choosing the perfect shade of pink

WE ARE; debating getting that blouse at the store.

WE ARE; wondering should we pregnancy or YOLO

WE ARE; eating tuna fish salad at a cafe

WE ARE; switching from flats to heels and geisha

WE ARE; switching back to flats after the heels prove too cumbersome

WE ARE; kicking ourselves for forgetting the tampons

WE ARE; crying because he hurt our friend and we love her

WE ARE; telling ourselves we’re better off on our own

WE ARE; installing and uninstalling dating apps

WE ARE; biting our nails at work and then getting them done

WE ARE; pulling our knees in on the subway

WE ARE; leaving names behind in the stalls

 

So yes we are sisters, but don’t think

because we are, we are one.

not so easy,

and don’t try to hold down DALLAS

because whatever we are doing

i have lions on my shoulders. i told u.

i’m my only self. i am everything.


Dallas Athent is a writer and an artist. Her writing and art has been profiled in The L Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, Bedford+Bowery & more. She is represented by The Rights Factory who is helping her publish her forthcoming novel, "The Queen of Pentacles & The Grail." In her spare time she coordinates monthly readings for Nomadic Press. She lives in The Bronx with her adopted pets.