Kimberly Ann Southwick
You’re Right, I Don’t Want To Know
that closed mouth kiss in the dark hall your hands teaching my body
what it will miss the pink pearl I found in a twenty-five-cent oyster the rare
note of surprise that pitches your voice a half-octave up I’m sorry
to have even asked the fire the ferns how jealousy blooms then burns
& keeps blooming a three-headed flower cutting ink sharp into my chest
I wear a low-cut shirt to show her how beautiful my tits are especially
compared to hers I don’t wash my hair for a week to show her
how I woke up like this is supposed to look I am nice & ask questions
at her panel & take notes with a pencil in the back of the book I’m reading
but really I’m roaring beware though in all caps & I mean of me I can’t let go
this flower on fire & I’m buried in its pollen & redhot petals & you
learned me hypocrisy’s speechless merits so if I’m scared but hoping
the pearl was a sign you’d fall in love with me when it’s all for show
for holy holy go fuck myself & I drown in this flora know I don’t forgive you
this fire this flower that don’t tell me it didn’t burn you down too kiss.
the body is sick with knowing. I mistake a hummingbird pausing
at the empty basin for a big green buzzing insect. I’ve never seen one
but then another. the body knows too much— the heart only a metaphor,
a blue second, the queen of clubs, of course, & I can’t type what it is I really mean.
when I’ve left out the beginning every time, it’s impossible to start there,
to remember what color my heart beat, rapid fire & winged, dipping beak
into the same dry bird bath, going back for more like I wanted that stone
nothing. I can’t see now what, only desire pinned to the page, the spoons
I stirred each morning cup of tea with, yes, static or crisis, the nothing rice
on the burner while he & I fucked quiet but dirty & the nice man in the other room
pretended to sleep. I kept repeating the same things so hard they turned diamond—
how I slept on the couch, the green one, his spade heart in my mouth, & more. I spit it out
into my hand like an untaken pill but must’ve swallowed some, & he wants me to keep it now
like it’s what I’ve always wanted: to wear this studded crown too heavy for my brow.
Kimberly Ann Southwick is the founder and editor in chief of the literary arts journal Gigantic Sequins. She has two poetry chapbooks, including EFS & VEES (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2015). She lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, and she is a PhD candidate in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, Poetry at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Follow her on twitter @kimannjosouth and visit her at kimberlyannsouthwick.com for more.