drowning

“Desolate and empty

the sea—”

how come we are all drowning

and we cannot see each other

gasping for breath under water?

You could have done something

for him, you know,

all you people dressed in black,

crowded around the urn.

but that is what he

must have been thinking too

and perhaps his voice

must have been a whisper,

a smiling ghost surveying the room.

 

© Alexandra Jema

death by water

sometimes I pretend to be the hanging Sybil

(sometimes I am, wanting to die)

when I was little I was a prophet,

but now my dreams make less sense

 

how many more days

how many more days can I spend

this close, gazing over the edge

running a hand softly to ripple the

still destruction that could drown me—

 

to ask myself the question would be

like standing naked on a jagged rock shore,

waiting for the ocean spray,

or a tsunami.

 

© Alexandra Jema

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.

© Alexandra Jema

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