Still mad

You once said I wasn’t like anyone you’d ever met

After our fight, I can say the same thing

I knew you could be arrogant

But I never knew anyone to be such a bitch


I’m so mad at you that I’m writing a Russian novel about the way you blew me off

She was my friend when you weren’t
not only did she say I could visit her
but that I could stay for months

you didn’t even say
it’d be nice to see you, but
so now you are the downtrodden character
in my novel, who will eventually die
all alone in the Siberian forest
from frostbite, maybe, I haven’t decided yet

but the important part is the phone in your hand
which will be bagged for evidence
by the local police department who will contact me
because after all these years
I was the person you ended up texting
at the end of your life, you will think of me

and I will say, sorry
I don’t understand Russian
What is this, some sort of a scam
no, I don’t want your prince’s money
in a lump sum and I wont give you my information
and I will hang up on them even though they said your name
it will have been too heavily accented
and too far lost by then for me to comprehend

In which I become an unflattering mix of arrogantly petulant

So long as you’re ignoring me

After this very important argument

I’ll take the time to digress

To become ugly and petty

My next point in this matter

In any case is

that because I, unlike you, my friend

Am so socially successful

Or in layman’s terms, POPULAR

In case you don’t understand

What I mean

I’ve had the opportunity to divulge

Your hissy fit to three close relations

Just throughout the course of my regular day

Immediately after you betrayed me

To my friend in my class

Who had just invited me

To her VERY FANCY birthday party

In my regular daily phone call

From a rock star which of course

I accepted and with my boyfriend

Who knocks down the door

Whenever im trying to be alone to start drinking

And they all said the same thing

You, my friend, are weird and toxic

And it makes no sense to them

That you wouldnt want to visit me

I was absolutely right, but she doesn’t need to know that

When an old friend says Fuck you
and Go fuck yourself in quick succession
I tell her the conversation has ended
and it was completely inappropriate
and uncalled for to use that kind of language
that I just won’t stand for it

then I have to dust off
my internal Rolodex of all the times
i have used these phrases
against the patriarchy, mostly
or those who have tried to impose it on me
in my poetry and drunkenly
but never to a friend
just, you know, every lover
I’ve ever had

I have other friends, I started thinking
who still actually live in this country
and are vying to see me
too many, actually
I could use the gap of one less
to my advantage
I could use that time
to read or pick up a language

it is my ambition to never be sworn at again
and i could do it — for the most part
over the past few years, i have
but wouldn’t I miss her?

I pull over to the side of the road
on my way home, put the hazards on
and email her a question
are you ok? and then i add
a totally unwarranted apology
for both of our benefits

Avoiding the Bullfight

The bull is outside my apartment

he is rearing his wild, squat head with malice

he is snorting hot air in and out

from the pavement which was so hot yesterday

that the soles of my sneakers melted onto it

he is not sprawling in a dusty stall in Spain

where he should be or Nicaragua

I think i even saw him fighting in Korea

granted, it must have been on an off day

for him to be there – there are places

better suited for the bull

there are places where he can win

there are countries in which it is illegal

to slash into him – and then there is Salem

on days where people like me

don’t take their medication

and can’t get dressed

and don’t want to see a bull outside of their door

rearing his ugly, squat head

Down in Costa Rica

People wanted to know about my trip

when I went to Costa Rica

but I didn’t tell them about the parrots

the clown school right up the street

from our hostel the teens

who would stop traffic just to juggle

or the park where my lover gazed at a couple

making out heavily on the bench and said

“I can’t remember the last time

I enjoyed kissing someone like that.”

and how I wouldn’t talk to him for hours


I didn’t tell them how he almost got us

kicked off the flight we had taken from Florida

how he threatened to flush my credit card

down the toilet and asked how long

I thought i could survive without him

how we were banned from our hostel

for fighting that night i locked the door

to our cabin  and he snaked up the tree outside

to try to crawl through the window

of our bathroom while I stood screaming

at him to stay out


Neither did I tell them

about the coke dealer, his moustache

long pinkie nails and golden rings

the cigars he claimed to be selling

our how we had a white Christmas

with him as our skinny santa

and the lines all split up

on our engraved bedside table


No, I sent them song lyrics

and asked them what they thought

David Bowie meant when he said

that man sold the world

and told them our pictures

couldn’t be uploaded

and that I probably wasn’t

going to get the chance

to write again