Two Poems | BEE LB
we know what lives here
After Traci Brimhall
if our future is the candle, the shadow it casts
is everything that comes after.
everything after is inevitably all
that came before. time a flat circle, we already know.
a fire lit in the shelter of a cave; we have only
to step outside in order to see the fear we’re hiding from.
i’ll admit, i hide mostly from myself
the horrors my mind offers up given enough time alone.
and what do you do if not leave me holding the candle?
wax melting against my fingers as our future burns smaller.
i don’t have to hide the hiss heat brings, no one’s here
to hear it. the steady drip of warm wax from my fingers to the floor
the only way i know to count time passing. if i hear
the walls whispering it’s only because i’m closed in,
trapped by my own desire for shelter. the only ghosts here are the ones
i’ve made myself; an empty bottle, soiled mattress, a bent gold ring.
in my aloneness, i falter— reach for a past i’ve since let go of.
comfort myself with the reality of an end, inevitable.
you ask what there is to be afraid of, and i
remind you of my body in the snow.
we have only to make it through the night,
so i close my eyes to the fact of your absence
haunt myself with the presence of your ghost;
your skin blue-ish, even in the golden light. i fix your
tie, swipe your lip, lift your hair from your face. my hands sink
into you, through you; we pretend not to notice.
memory tests it’s lock, and i let you ruin your own haunting
whisper to me a promise we both know is false.
i’ll get to work on your eulogy if you’ll let me lay you down
in a casket, remind you my fear of fire.
i know it doesn’t burn you the same; your skin roughened
by what we won’t say. in a familiar bout of destruction
i snuff the candle between two fingers, let heat sear flesh
in a promise unbroken, let the damage our future’s done
rest heavy in my hands. we’re the only ones here now.
you can tell me what you want.
there's nothing sexy about wanting to die
After Ally Ang
But I want to anyway.
My #3 bestie once told me
I’d leave behind a beautiful corpse
and I blushed.
I don’t want to be that person
but I am. I’d pick out the prettiest pink rope
but all the shipping prices went up
and where do you find pink rope irl???
Nowhere, that’s where.
Back to the drawing board.
Who cares about being sexy anyway?
(Me! I do! I do!)
I once said I’m like Jessica Rabbit
if she were a they that came in pink.
I’m not really bad, I’m just drawn that way.
I guess I draw myself though, so I can’t really say that.
I write all my worst lines
make all my own mistakes.
Where’s my funny little himbo husband
who may or may not also be a rabbit?
Well? I’m waiting!
I don’t want marriage, I just want a ring
and a house I don’t have to pay for.
Forget the paperwork, just let me scrub your floor clean.
I mean, not you (whoever you are)
but the you I never talk to.
The you I call h*m and b*y and [name
redacted] bc shameful secrets turn me on.
My little b*y t*y, but h*’s not so little.
I don’t really do that anymore
I mean with the asterisks and everything
but I’m not sure when I stopped
picked at infatuation until it bled a little love.
Oh, I’m making myself dizzy with all this chatter.
Can’t we just sit still a while?
How’d we even get here?
We were talking about wanting to die,
weren’t we? It’s good to get off that topic
when we can, though. Sometimes you need
a big break, deep breath, just to live life a little.
I don’t always mind my little life.
Like when I finish the can of pringles
and get to lick my fingers clean of salt.
That’s not so bad.
Or when I step away from the microwave
but remember to race back
right before it dings
bc nobody wants to hear that.
That’s pretty good actually!
Makes me feel light
on my feet.
Little bit of luck, like
the first time I played cribbage I killed it
even though I still count with my fingers.
Five of hearts in the middle and no joke,
I had a jack and three tens.
Who else can say that??
It’s true my brother tried to kill himself the next day,
but he lived,
so that can’t be the worst luck.
I don’t think so
I don’t know
who’s to say?
Anyway, I got him into a hospital
and when he got out I taught him
how to use psychologytoday’s therapist finder
and I bought him a bonsai
for his birthday but a month early
because sometimes I think it would be so easy to die
but then I think about my plants dying without me
and feel guilty.
I mean I don’t want him to feel guilty
but I want him to live.
My feelings about suicide are so complicated
and this isn’t really the poem for that
but none of this is sexy anyway.
Remember when I was dizzy
Oh, to skip back five minutes.
When I was little I thought double dutch could turn back time.
Not sure why, I just did.
I was terrible at jumping rope.
My rhythm has always failed me.
Sometimes I dance alone in my room
in front of my mirror
but I keep my eyes closed.
Try to find the music in my body
let the rhythm find me
let my hips sway
let my body move along.
But I can’t feel a thing
BEE LB is an array of letters, bound to impulse; a writer creating delicate connections. they have called any number of places home; currently, a single yellow wall in Michigan. they have been published in Revolute Lit, After the Pause, and Roanoke Review, among others. they are the 2022 winner of FOLIO’s Editor’s Prize for Poetry as well as the Bea Gonzalez Prize for Poetry. they are a poetry reader for Capsule Stories. their portfolio can be found at twinbrights.carrd.co.