oh god the future—

you break through the glass in the back door, letting
your engorged limbs fall through, sticky with maple sap on the floor and
cracking the canned pineapple in the pantry immediately open
to eat with pressing fingers, slurping down juice like a foul-bodied insect
thundering in the humid air of mid-july, the way you twist like destiny
with a hungering for blue sky, a place to own and name, seeing
me still in my dress from yesterday you crunch your eyes sickly and
fish for gold in the sink, letting pieces fall through into the garbage disposal,
i’m standing there by the microwave with my lungs taken out
and bisected calmly on the con-tact papered counter
hugging arms around my stomach sickening and sickening, you
turn on the coffee pot like you own this place somehow, opening the curtains
to let the hot afternoon through, you have taken my name and
my only good tea towel is draped over your shoulders,
the air looks so pink just now, doesn’t it? pacific smell and the way
my neurons seem to be burning down to bare hill and ache,
something tells me you’re never going to leave and my heart will be
syncopating forever, gone are circadian rhythms when you never
turn off the lights in the hallway, you have eaten all the face soap and
now i feel like something dirty and unseen here in the shadows of
the new cabinets and the old tv, starving starving and
oh the awful way you’re wearing my clothes and kissing
your cheeks in my dollar store mirror, why do you insist on tearing away
the roof so the sky, too, can be yours when you have everything you
have ever wanted here in my house in my kitchen in my backyard
the migrating, the air, so slickly you paint over the walls to look like
your stovetop dreams, so slickly i do not hear the sound of the brush
until i am choking on the fumes
a damp lungless pond thing, until
i do not want to be myself and i bring the rotten bananas in a drugstore
bag to the bus stop and go, but still over the run of the wheels i hear
you in the kitchen smashing the portraits and
catching the ants with orange juice and poison, to decorate with

Allison Stein is a seventeen-year-old student living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Ralph Munn Creative Writing Anthology, Doghouse Press, and Parallax Literary Magazine, among others. Her poetry has also received national recognition from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. When she is not writing, she enjoys making collage art and spending time in parks.

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