Chelsea Margaret Bodnar
When you wrote the love letter, you never sent it, duh. Get real. It’s not a thing that people
do. The bonnet of your madness tethered tight. Hey, are you awake? I’ve got something to tell you. ...Nevermind. And what could be important when you say you have no life? You should have been born different, should’ve been
more flat of affect, platinum of tongue. Had some ambition outside of this vague desire to hack to pieces everything you hold to heart and acid bath the bones. Even now,
still cropping up in hiding places in your childhood bedroom, scraps of paper slid under the window frame, folded down to
whispers. This throb that ties your throat
like rabbit trap.
Your mom gives you a couple Xanax in
a plastic bag and lectures you about the pros
of moving back to her house, your childhood bedroom and its pretty relics on display. You’d rather push your luck
dissolve in space your molecules expanding, the
bone and sinew fleeing from your skin like being yours was
drowning. The ugly orbit of your little life is
pulling tighter, its vague ellipsis dipping toward the sun. After the breakup, when you felt your borders disappearing, you
counted up the things you loved and stacked them to the ceiling.
A pantheon of glitter, and all its noisy shimmer adding up to so much less than nothing.
You’re pretty sure your hands are prematurely aging, the skin flaking at the knuckles, the dry, chewed cuticles whitening like quicklime. Idle always, you sit back & read an article about the world’s best-preserved mummies
ranking them by some unclear quality. Saint Bernadette’s not playing fair, a smooth & flawless wax cast covers up her face and hands. The girl that should be underneath was chopped to bits and sold as relics
And here you are: your body is intact but you’re still using inadequate words, words that act as warning signs, stay
far away from your mouth, words that can only be typed or gracelessly alluded to. How embarrassing!
Snow White and Saint Bernadette, the
whole long black assembly line
of colorless hands clasped above slow-beating, incorrupt
hearts. And the wicked queen’s old beauty danced to ashes in her shoes of fire.
The lifestyles of half-dead princesses, funhouse mirrors
of white limbs and red-painted lips,
a double exposure, a triple exposure, a line like soldiers dolls in boxes heartthrobs with interchangeable parts. Little pre-war dead girl under Paris,
mouth opening and closing in accordance with the pressure. Too young to have much fun, her ice-blue eyes forever and deflated.
That one is almost definitely your favorite.