HEAD / HEART
hopelessly devoted to each and every one
Swirling her scented letter in the inflatable pool, her nightgown is its own wilderness, breath of springtime against skin, birdsong, the light all pink and blue // fool forget him // there’s never a level playing field, she gathers men under her hem as a mountain that houses its own pure atmosphere, the purity of her blurs their first impulses until all they can see is Sandy, her hopeless devotion, their own blown-out mugs reflected in the anguish of her dilation, she can be anyone, but won't, she'll only be his // don’t let go // and what are men, anyway, but permanence to balance out femme trickery, and she a vessel for their preferences, she a tendril of smoke winding through the shapes of their favorite body parts—collarbone, areola, sole—and she having sputtered so cutely who will soon slip through permeations of leather // hold on ‘til the end // but who for now conjures the face of her mark from the still pool, as if he were not even the moon with its limpid echo of light, but an even flimsier reflection, and yes! she will disarm him! and she will disarm him with her mutability, how fluidly she fits into any given scene, conjures his ambitions by making a wraith of her own pretty skin // outta my head // the ideas spark from her, little explosions leap off where his attention rests on her, she could be anybody for him, the wind whispers it through her smooth hair, she could be anybody, as long as he wants her, anybody
OUR GARDEN OF SPOILER ALERTS FLOURISHES
Listen up, love bucket—one of us has to die
first. Love comes wrapped, not in bacon
or paper, but in the glossy promise of negative
definitions. Love lists its impossibilities
in the overlap of our canons. My tongue will flap
for another half-century before its stills, I’m sorry.
Time’s fools, we’ll forget how sensitive our vegetables are
to all this sun-circling. We’ll keep leafy greens
in the freezer, a small plead with the planet to pause
its spin. And our bodies even less immune to orbit—
I’d tinfoil you into inertia, but suspect some rot
would find the seams and seep in anyway.
Unless we’re watching Game of Thrones, we can guess
how long the protagonist will last by counting
how many seasons are streaming online. I want to believe
that Scully could succumb to her coma, but
my cultural lexicon knows better. As we learn each other,
the predictive text in our send spaces will petal
into declarations of love: may they too wither
and rot, so their cellulose might loosen
our convictions, make room for new roots. My lattice
of varicose veins will eventually spell your name
across my thighs. That bloom/bust is inevitable
so why not harness its energies? As a climate emergency
urges photosynthesis through new conduits, we’ll solidify
against the synchronized sag of the planet—we’ll sadden
into partnership, politics. Our binge-watching will intertwine,
until our vernaculars are tangled, slang-private. We’ll try
not to alienate our friends. Love’s prohibited activities
will remain listed on our refrigerator, wherein
the spilled sauce will crust and the shed skins
of onions will litter the bottom of crisper-drawers,
mulch-hopeful even as they are shucked.
 Love is not love which ________; Love’s not ________’s ________.
 Love does not ________, it does not ________, it is not ________.
Jessica Morey-Collins received her MFA from the University of New Orleans, where she won an Academy of American Poets award, and worked as associate poetry editor for Bayou Magazine. Her poems can be found or are forthcoming in Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Juked, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a Masters of Community and Regional Planning at the University of Oregon. Find her at www.jessicamoreycollins.com