Seafoam like glue.
My bones are halos.
Teeth: soft white lightbulbs.
Rosehip tea and butter cookies.
Newports and Café Bustelo with the state psychopath.
And I’m banned from certain apartments but
who cares when the love was paying rent in quarters?
That motel home.
That gas station where I’d rest in impure thoughts for months on end.
The Chinese culture believes you can’t sleep when you’re alive in someone’s dreams.
My dark circles prove I’m in so many people’s minds.
People who have seen me in lace.
And people who have seen me in denim.
Mom did something wrong because the thought
of a jellyfish sting thrills me under my skin
where the sinew and feelings are.
When they pull me out of the ocean my skin
will be robin’s egg blue, waterlogged, and flaking.
12 years old and pain is sparkly rain.
I loved blood so bad they had to lock me up.
Make me eat with plastic.
Removed the strings in my shorts and the underwire out of my bras.
Hibiscus flowers in Florida.
Hydrangeas in Michigan.
Red sugar maples in Illinois.
We call each other, cherishing the seconds between speaking.
We tripped while walking on the tightrope of being no strings attached.
Cinnamon peach skin.
And bruises in the buttermilk.
My nipples cotton candy grapes.
(He giggles when I read that part.)
A prayer in Argentina.
And the rainbow grease ones of baths too.
Mastering the art of Valentine’s day.
You can find me smoking in urban alleys before dancing and art museums.
Sequins and ruffles and leather and gemstones.
You can find me on stage sharing the music of my brain.
With a bad little baby that sticks metal and art to their skin.
Flourishing and mine.
Juliet Lauren is a poet and writer. She is published in journals such as Kissing Dynamite, Pine Hills Review, and High Shelf Press. She is working on her first novel. For more information on her and her work, please visit https://www.julietlauren.com.