one perfect banana
the ocean and how it crept through and up to the garden, even though
we were in Pennsylvania. the sad part is it wasn’t a dream or a vision
of the future—which would also be sad. the sad part is the oysters,
in their shells. the sad part is what all the vegetarians will do
when there are no more vegetables—what all the vegetarians will
do when there are no more legumes, no more meatless pizzas,
when all that exists is already alive and needs to be killed
for us to survive.
the ocean and how it lost its will to tide
and instead just ebbed, ebbed, ebbed and kept ebbing,
sobbing like giving up like laying itself flat—like, i’m
tired of this shit—like, i’m tired of being the ocean, it might
have said to me, and i said that it was okay and patted its head
or where i thought its head might be since it was the ocean and
not something with a head. it seemed to quiet, the ocean did,
and i didn’t want to walk away, but i did want to send it a card,
a greeting card, one of those “support” cards, one of those,
I’m thinking about you, ocean, and everything will be okay cards,
so I stopped at Target and took some of the ocean with me in a jar
so that it wouldn’t think i had given up on it. i didn’t think
that it should be alone.
the ocean and how i sent it to look for bananas:
ripe ones, i said, but not too ripe, so it went to find them, a pretty much
impossible task— even one perfect banana is mostly impossible to find.
while it was searching, i bought the ocean a card and when i sent it,
later that day, i addressed it, one stamp, to the ocean and i didn’t
say which particular ocean because, really, no matter where we draw
any arbitrary lines in the water, it’s just one big ocean.
sometimes i wish i never wore the sequin dress. sushi is the way to a girl’s heart. i want you to see me from far away carrying something heavy across a large room. when the sun is out and you are inside and there are no windows—do you also forget the sun is out? love me, leave me alone, love me. i want to stay in a hotel in my own damn city. i want to stay in a hotel room and i want to run the bath water and i want to order room service and i want to keep the door unlocked and let you know my room number and weigh myself naked on the scale and not be frightened.
your car is the only car in my egypt that isn’t a taxi. i like to think you still have your car. i like to think you still have an ipod full of misspelled words. you are driving through the streets to zamalek and everything is fine. you are going up the elevator to the art studio where you make sculpture and where ahmed edits photos and everything is fine. you are dropping a cigarette butt off of the balcony and everything is fine. there is furniture outside and everything is fine. it doesn’t rain and everything is fine. you are texting me, overseas message rates be damned, from another country to tell me you are listening to ‘i loves you borgy’ and everything is fine. everything is fine.
Kimberly Ann Southwick is the founder and editor in chief of the literary arts journal Gigantic Sequins. She lives in Philadelphia. Her chapbook, every song by Patsy Cline, came out earlier in 2014 from dancing girl press and another chapbook, efs and vees, is forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press in 2015. Visit her online at kimberlyannsouthwick.com and/or tweet her some nice words at @kimannjosouth