Corinna Schulenburg 


I guess sometimes you gotta outlast at last
              when the sum of times doesn’t add up & the only way out is
                            through these streets shedding flowers & fists & the kid crams her                                 basket
                            with salvaged pollen, hands bouquets to the savage world &
                            is proud of me the whole damn time.
              a mother constructed
              out of popsicle sticks & duct tape, a mother who hovers
                            at the edges of playgrounds like a moth the light keeps
                            turning away & how much tock is left in the clock
before the world gets to teaching her
                           all the ways to hate me?
manuals, they got manuals & all I have
              is a purse full of bandaids & sunscreen & receipts for shit I never should’ve
              bought, taught since wail number one that the circumference of my consent
              tightens with each truth & these men, these men have a whole lot of vulture
              in their eyes, just try & ask them not to breathe all over you & their beaks
              go straight for your bones & still
                            she’s got a basket & I’m gonna put some guts in it
                            & some groove in it & some goof in there & some gab &
what I mean by at last is when I finally arrived in my body there was a new
              murder of crows & a new set of equations & her eyes always gathering
what I mean by outlast is I check her breath before I sleep & make sure
              all the locks are set tight & the gas isn’t burning & only then
              set pen to garden in the hope in the hope that one day
she will walk through the streets of fists & beaks
she will walk through the streets with her basket crammed
              with preparation & protection & picnics
she will walk through the streets to gather my flowers
              & her own & she will know what to do with them
              how to arrange them in ways I never could &
                            she will know what I meant all the times that I tried

pretty sure amb told me selfies are self-care

adrienne maree brown told me once
in a book she wrote that her friends
have a text chain just for selfies
so they can practice loving how
they look.
              At least that’s what
I remember. I could try to find it,
her book, or I could take another
selfie, which feels more in the spirit
of things.
              Does this happen to you
where you feel your hotness assemble
and hustle to capture it? Hotness
is capricious, like one of those
butterflies we’re driving extinct,
tho maybe when you’ve practiced it
like amb you can just conjure it,
with a gesture, like a cab.
                                           Well now
there’s apps for that, the cabs
and cars to take you places,
also apps for the hotness, even
apps for the sex, which is
another way to do it, another
way to notice you’re alive, though
sex takes longer than a selfie.
If I were a Cis Girl I’d have a text chain
just like amb.
                           If I were a Cis Girl
my besties would be abundant,
my besties would straight up
murmurate our sundry beauties;
oh, we’d be hotter than the bees
in honey, which are also extinct.
The bees, I mean, not the Cis Girls.
It’s my kind of girl they put
in magazines under the word
                           Danger makes me
wanna take another selfie, like,
how could death come for a girl
with such hotness abounding?
Even if he took her, took me,
there’d be so many cute selfies
it’d be like I was still alive.
Except for the squishy parts,
soft and beating parts,
the bedazzled dreaming parts,
except for those.
                           Ending a poem
makes me wanna take another
selfie. Look
                           at the poet,
she’s so in love with herself,
she’s so hot off the presses,
fresh from writing the end.

Too Much of Water

I can never catch up to you.
Your machete, curved as a melon,
makes short work of the path ahead.

I follow the trail of what is dead.
What is dying sings of you
like a skald, oh merciless,

oh clean with the blade.
Impeccable even, while I stumble,
shedding trite bouquets

which I extend, hands a-tremble,
to your boot-prints filling with mud.
There is something in the blood,

isn’t there, lover? Something
that makes me turn toward the arrow,
something about the scent

of salt. And the bog’s here for it,
props me up, gaseous and spangled
as Ophelia, to die

and die again, the way a poor fool must
when she spies the flint of godhead
catch in her lover’s eye.

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