Very Specific Phobias

We used to talk,
we used to have conversations big
and Small.
But really, they were never small.
Never felt small.
It’s not the same.
Time was like cotton candy,
sugar tendrils we could twist
and Pull
to our whims and fancies;
and even when our fingers would
bind together, and there was that
paranoia about the bugs
(there was always that paranoia about the bugs—it was summer,
and we had very specific phobias)
it was always so very sweet.
Wasn’t it always so very sweet?
I wouldn’t know.
I’ve stopped remembering.
The words slip-staggered, somewhere along the way
between:
my constricted throat
and the air, thick with
saids and unsaids
which could not sustain them;
somewhere along the way
between
my thinking that they had the power to change you
and my realizing that they didn’t;
and somewhere along the way
between
what I thought I knew, and
what I wish someone had told me.
I’ve traded those words, like I’ve traded everything else.
Sensations beg for my attention nowadays
and I, I look for some sense in them.
I get the hankering.
I feel the storm.
I turn blue.
Always, I get operatic.
Fling me over rocks
where the heartbroken sea comes to die;
dangle me over precipices
where I may find those aforementioned
words,
lost so very long ago.
It’s not the same.
It’s not the same.
I chased those sweet, sticky days
down acrid, dusty roads.
I looked for your rainbow tinged shadow
through warped lenses, broken perspectives;
I broke my skin, walking over our
sharded-yet-still-riveting past.
It’s not the same.
Won’t ever likely be.
I’ve lost count of lost sleep.
Settled like dust on my own disgraces.
Made a different peace. But
I still feel small,
sometimes.
Time will no longer accommodate:
She has other children to coddle,
and children we are no longer.
I still have very specific phobias.
I often wonder about yours, too.
We used to talk,
so I wouldn’t know.

“Storm clouds over the Peaks (HDR)”by deborah.soltesz is licensed under CC0 1.0

A. Martine

A. Martine is a trilingual writer, musician and artist of color who goes where the waves take her. She might have been a kraken in a past life. She's an Assistant Editor at *Reckoning Press* and a Managing Editor of *The Nasiona*. Her collection of poems, "AT SEA" was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize. Some words found or forthcoming in: *Berfrois, The Rumpus, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Metaphorosis, South Broadway Ghost Society, RIC Journal, Lamplight, TERSE. Journal, Gone Lawn, Truancy Mag, Crack the Spine, Confessionalist Zine, Ghost City Review, Rogue Agent, Boston Accent Lit, Porridge Magazine, Camwood Lit*. Follow her @Maelllstrom/ www.maelllstrom.com.

Categories: FeaturedPoetry

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A. Martine

A. Martine

A. Martine is a trilingual writer, musician and artist of color who goes where the waves take her. She might have been a kraken in a past life. She's an Assistant Editor at *Reckoning Press* and a Managing Editor of *The Nasiona*. Her collection of poems, "AT SEA" was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize. Some words found or forthcoming in: *Berfrois, The Rumpus, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Metaphorosis, South Broadway Ghost Society, RIC Journal, Lamplight, TERSE. Journal, Gone Lawn, Truancy Mag, Crack the Spine, Confessionalist Zine, Ghost City Review, Rogue Agent, Boston Accent Lit, Porridge Magazine, Camwood Lit*. Follow her @Maelllstrom/ www.maelllstrom.com.

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