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a poem by Lauren Perry


Come a little closer
You’re so far away
Stretching miles and memories and headaches
And mascara running down my face
Making me look pathetic
Something I have never been
Until you came and wrecked it all
Seven years
Seven bloody, awful, stormy-seas years
I am sea-sick
I am puking over the heavy wooden sides
Of a ship that should never have left port
The rain is hitting my face
Stinging, whipping, the wind and the dark abyss below
I’d jump if I thought I’d survive
Come closer
I have something to scream at you
I’ll start as a whisper
I just want you to know everything you’ve broken
Let me line them up, label them, take photos as evidence
Let me cut their bows
Let me burn the pictures
And scream until I am blue in the face
With agony over your stupidity
You’re the asshole
Who sits next to some pretty girl on the metro
Scanning her reading
Lying, telling her you love the book in her hand
The one you’ve never read
She’ll nod and oblige because, like any snake,
Like any side-winding bastard
You can fit right in
I hope you slither away across the sand
And get severed
Let me be petty, just for a moment
My dark side is fighting with the righteous side
They’re arguing
And I’ve never heard them so bitterly so
Let me go! She screams. Let me tell him exactly what he is not worth
No. replies the fairer, the lighter, the righteous
Walk away
I have no life-vest
Still you must jump
The waters are trepid
Still you must jump
Go down screaming if you must
But it doesn’t matter if he hears
Only that he sees you leave
This is a ship that is better off smashed on rocks
Whether he, too, becomes a man overboard or not.
Jump, she whispers.
A white dress looks so poetic, a ghost in stormy waters.



Return to Issue 35