by Stephanie Goehring

Published in Issue No. 145 ~ June, 2009

When the two men at the cafe talk about driving,

they might as well be talking about love

for all I know of acceleration, yielding

before a sign you’ve learned to expect.

I never learned how to drive, so I never know where I am.

I’ve told men, “I love you,” but only when I meant,

“I’m drunk and need you to hold me

accountable for the stupid things I say.”

I’m trying to remember the first time I felt dumb.

I’m trying to remember why I answered the phone.

The first person to touch us is always a stranger;

years later, we’re taught that kind of touch is wrong.

Out of Order

I tear off small sheets of my skin

like pages from a calendar

I used to count the days out of order.

Everything here is broken;

everything that should move is fixed.

I remember everything you said

and most of what you didn’t,

like when a moth dies slowly

and fills the emptying space

surrounding it with wingspan

opening like a moth curling forever

into a flame curling inward.

My heart, my throat, my wrists

are hot air balloons mid-air and you

are mid-air, face-first in a lake.


I want to shatter the mason jar in my chest,

make a mosaic, call it “Half-full.”

I want to staple my face to a lamp post,

tell everyone I’m missing.

I want to get impregnated by the man in the moon,

so I can abort his only sun.

I want to commit suicide by blood donation.

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Stephanie Goehring's first chapbook, This Room Has a Ghost, is forthcoming from dancing girl press in November 2009. She blogs at