twenty-five

I stopped smoking and I stopped eating

so the skin on my chest stretched thin

I watched my heart bob up and down, trying to count the beats per minute

thinking I had palpitations

but I guess when you are young and empty and full of possibilities

it is only your heart keeping you afloat

 

© 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