lunch notes

Debating what to do with my sandwich—I ate half but I wish you were here to eat the other half. Listening to the birds chirping outside, their tiny voices echoing in the crevices of the building. I am waiting and counting the minutes until I can see you again. I count them almost all the time if I know I’ll be in your arms later.

© Alexandra Jema

absence

I feel my absence in the pause of your sentence. When I was dead for a year, I had the chance to think
… think?
I had the chance to
be without you…

I feel my absence in the jokes I don’t get. (I laugh anyway.)

Your sly answers, the smoothness of your lips

I can’t forget either—I tried

But I couldn’t
Because somehow my soul came back
And I think yours did too
Yours a bit red and mine kind of blue
and now everything is.

© Alexandra Jema

liar’s love letter

I only know you love me as much as I love you because you went away. My heart heard it. I used to think our souls were connected. I still do. I pick up my phone right before you call. I wake from the nightmare to your breath on the fuzz of my ears. Sometimes it feels far, like the other side of the bed is the other side of the universe. I came into this world early and angry and screaming, looking for you I’m sure. I knew I was a thousand years old when I was four—angry I realized I had to wait to find you again. Soulmates since stardust. I’m sure of it. When my heart saw you it knew. When you said I love you too quickly, I knew. If I had waited in the womb I would have been a lion. Liars know how to fake it. But you knew—you told me how ferocious I was being to keep up with your friends. On the way home on a cold November night I was wearing my lace and my faux fur and my dark lipstick. You looked over and grabbed my thigh. It was what I wanted. “You’re a bad bitch,” you said. Half the time maybe. Maybe all of the time. I wouldn’t know, but you seem like you always do.

© Alexandra Jema

red is my favourite colour

I see red all the time. I close my eyes and can see my heart beating, feel that red in my veins, taste the salty sour in my mouth. red is a colour of passion they say. I feel angry all the time, is that passion? when I’m not angry I am always falling in love. with the cracks in the sidewalk. with the way the curtains are, in his room, when I am awake when I am not supposed to be. I liked the red sunsets, sometimes I hate them because it is the end of a good day and I don’t know if tomorrow will be the same. and that makes me angry. I saw a picture of a brain once and it was all grey. what the fuck? beautiful things should be red. the way I swipe my lipstick on before a date. the flowers on the side of the road. the little candies that stain my teeth and tongue. too much wine that makes me sick to my stomach. all the red.

© Alexandra Jema

words

Don’t you dare hurt me

or I will use my words

to destroy you

you are part of me now and you can’t take that back

your skin is my skin forever

no matter how many times I have tried to scrub you off

you can pretend it was

entirely my fault

but I know it will be my voice echoing in your head:

“I don’t owe you anything.”

the truth.

(but you lived for the lies)

you can go tell all your friends your truth

and I will be writing poems about mine,

the way you loved me, bitterly

while I longed for him

and it will be my words against yours.

© Alexandra Jema

23

I have so much of me on film, I don’t remember my life before this morning—

I never thought I would wake up, 23.

A cynic in a fairy tale

and scared shitless, too.

“Pretty girl.”

(You should see my fingernail smile on film) I close my eyes and I could

dive into another life and still feel that pulse;

swim through another birth canal and still hate my heart,

making the same mistakes over and over.

I am so bored with my youth, said every narcissist ever,

staring into their reflections,

drowning.

© Alexandra Jema