A Feeling I Thought I'd Imagined

Alisa Otte


my cuticles are stained with lipstick.
You make me take off my lipstick.
it’s not for you.
I don’t count crumbs and
seek bones for you.
but still, I’m wondering
if you would tranquilize me.

to cheapen is to breathe
and every mocha is handed over with
the word obligation written on the blush of your cheek and I started
to believe that every mocha would have to mean an apology until the day I
saw a building in London and I realized
I had only been thinking of the building & I left without
the piercing pull to turn back toward it. it stays there
I will go on without it.

The heaviness and the blindness that attacks when
you realize you’re looking at someone so breathtaking
who you’ve dreamed of,
whose dreams built like a quickening
heartbeat as you approached it
and you see it and you leave and then you realize that your
dream of Michelangelo’s David and your
memory of Michelangelo’s David are now the
same in your mind.
They are so much muddled and easily switched
that you realize experience has only ever existed in your mind.

a night
To dream is to cause your future to decay.
Sitting in the desert city at night
I realized the coldness of the early night was warmer than
the coldness of the early morning. I didn’t dream that part.
We didn’t know there would be fireworks. We huddled together but were
separately happy. As each second that passed
turned memory a red light went up in the sky and I looked
at my friend, rubied tears on our freckled faces, I knew
we were giving nothing short of our most absolute selves
and we let the seconds evaporate