witching hour

there is this bruha who lives inside of me—this child with stringy, tangled hair and teeth filed into points. she casts spells to send me back in time, trapping me in dreams of the past. I wake up and tumble into the next dream, and when I leave my bed I am not really sure if I am in the right universe. I feel like I have been in this ribcage before, bent over, heavy hot, tired of life. like this is the curse: this is the price paid for cheap quick magic, all the lipstick. no matter what I do I don’t think I could ever get rid of envy’s wicked fingers, always around my throat, choking me when you look at other women. something in me screams, don’t you know what I do to look this good? you could probably see the wild underneath the painted fingernails. the lipstick doesn’t fool anyone but it’s my favourite trick when it does.

an excerpt from another life

the david foster wallace quote dreading in my ear, they shoot the terrible master. i know he is too smart for his own good, i am so fearful , i can’t even stand on my own knees. i hear aweird echoey sound in my ears. a waiting creeping echo that makes me want to cry. the wail of a car’s brakes, sliding in through the windowsill. i think i will vomit. he is always so ominous. “i don’t know what to do, babe.” i am so so so tempted. to see what is wrong. i am standing at the bedside like a fool. waiting. was there caffeine in the coffee i wonder? or am i just high? i wonder. i worry.

© Alexandra Jema 

près de la catastrophe

The universe doesn’t make mistakes—

With slow movements every day I realize I have
lived life before.
and the reason
I am so anxious
is because I don’t like waiting for what comes next.

I have been so happy, my heart sings.

Why can I not be that happy again?

 

                    Why is my sadness a cavernous wound?

 

We will all play it out, anyway,
puppets on strings
more curious about curtains than anything.

 

 

 

© Alexandra Jema

a science lesson

prophase

you asked if he knew where I was as if the answer would change anything. we were getting high in your car and watching the sun set on a dirt road in the middle of somewhere. you might have still been seeing her, I can’t remember, but you told me later on that you thought about kissing me then. when you handed me the lighter your skin lingered on mine, a little too long. I was so high I didn’t notice I was shaking from the cold. you turned the heat on and I was still shivering.

 

metaphase

he always said I needed to change and I needed to try. what did that even mean anymore? I tried to be happy but I just got sadder and sadder. he said he wouldn’t open up until I was bleeding out on the pavement. and then he asked why I was so angry all of the time. I started pacing my room, wishing I would fade into the dim gaslight.

 

anaphase

we were lying in bed and he hadn’t finished and I was anxious to make things right but he rolled over like no thanks. I bit my tongue felt my cheeks get hot wanted nothing more than to run out of the house. I buried myself in the stale smell of semen on his blankets choking on my own shame. when we woke up I made him breakfast and he pretended it didn’t happened.

 

telophase

the heaving, through thick humidity and too many tears, in my high school parking lot of all places, like some sick fucking wannabe romantic joke. as if to say, we met here so we’re gonna die here. he slammed my car door and I started drowning. we were gonna try we were gonna try we were gonna try I was sobbing. if my heart wasn’t already broken that would have done it.

 

 

© Alexandra Jema

the 1:45am whisper

when I don’t sleep I go all out of my mind, like stagnant panic. I trick myself by counting ghost hours, but I’m always all awake and not knowing it, forgetting I woke up to check the time, the blinking digital numbers like some sort of mechanical Monet. the words come into my head all wrong and I can’t comb them the right way, and then madness seeps into the marrow of my bones, all wrong, arthritic.

I drank wine every night this week; it didn’t feel like I was alive and I liked it way too much. my grandfather used to carry whiskey in his glass every evening, sharp stained breath I remember so well. I drink my blood and wake up all hours of the night, chasing words in rem sleep, tumbling over half sentences and poetry that I forget in the morning sun.

 

© Alexandra Jema