Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Tuesday poem #227 : Aimee Herman : two strangers underneath a city

Found on the A train, two humans dress as love stains
crawl into each others laps to sop up the carnage of spit.

Mouths break their fasts on each other,
carelessly-shaped lips move back and forth like typewriter travel.

There are no letterpress invites for their tongues to RSVP.
Sometimes, mouths just know what other mouths are looking for.

Four minutes earlier they barely understood each other’s teeth,
yet here they are on plastic subway seats sending bits of forgotten food down throats.

The one in buttons dances fingers into the other’s hair, aftertaste of coconut milk.
The one with poison ivy hidden beneath shirt panics about last bath date.

Buttons begins to think of recent ex-girlfriend who could tie three cherry stems together using only her tongue.

During, molars and fillings are investigated.

After, both contemplate an exchange of phone numbers but silently decide against.

Before, they were just two strangers sitting on the same train toward differing parts of Brooklyn, high off the pungent smells of loneliness, looking to feel something other than that.

Aimee Herman [photo credit: Jun Liu] is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, poet, and writing/literature teacher at Bronx Community College. Aimee has been widely published in journals and anthologies including cream city review, BOMB, nerve lantern, Apogee and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books). In addition, several chapbooks including rooted (Dancing Girl Press) and carpus (Essay Press) and two full-length books: meant to wake up feeling (great weather for MEDIA) and to go without blinking (BlazeVOX books). Aimee hosts a monthly series in NYC called Queer Art Organics, featuring LGBTQ writers and performers and plays ukulele in the poetry/band collective Hydrogen Junkbox. For more, go to aimeeherman.wordpress.com

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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