Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Tuesday poem #438 : Alina Pleskova : THIS DAY IS A WASH


for Rachel Milligan

when    I'm too candid for abstractions
            absence isn't lack, but inadequacy thrown into relief
            it's my turn to say, I'm not comfortable with the arrangement
            morning is a hook piercing the jowls
            delays between our answers lengthen

when    I keep a lavish sample spritzer for when & only when
            the when is catatonic at the clinic for I lost track of how long, but at
            least I smelled elegant
            the rain turns torrential, as if cued
            the magic 8 ball gets stuck edges-up, rejecting its own limited
            wonder is coming back for us, but not yet
            you try to leave your body, but the severance doesn’t take

when    the news dares us to stay brave
            the news gives us the spins
            the news becomes vomit in a pristine hotel toilet
            this is no time for grace

I cave first & call from the stairwell, where things are allowed to get

when    I petitioned the patron saint of all things prurient, I forgot to be
            the city shrinks to fit my palm
            I leave, the sun will be wedged between treetops
            we live & breathe our customer-focused culture
            I log my absence in the absence management program

when    our bodies carry on with secret dealings during sleep
            you look at me just-so & I go what? to diminish it
            friends kiss on the sidewalk wearing uncertain spring haircuts
            aberrant weather lets us feel okay longer, though not without guilt
overs along the tolerability continuum are known as situations

when   her voice trails tenderness around the bedroom

           someone says, This is going to get weird, there’s a sure sign it won't
           checking whether I've forgotten already means I haven't
           you snore within minutes after finishing, I hallucinate concepts
           like husband
           Frank wrote, Heterosexuality! you are inexorably approaching, it was
           a warning

when   I gained agency because I learned how to aim

            a fist uncurls inside my throat & I’m rapturous, emptied of all

            I mean shock to the system, the overtone is sex

            our appetites meet in a subhuman state, that’s called a miracle

           a siren call needs retuning, where do you take it?

when   I understood how a touch can be both game & wholly indifferent

            my body is returned in working order, it’s both comfort &

            even the withered succulents outlasted all this, where's the lesson
            about neglect?

            you about-face at the corner, but my pulse holds steady
            the rousing spell has run its course—




Alina Pleskova is a poet, editor, and Russian immigrant turned proud Philadelphian. Her work has been featured in American Poetry Review, Thrush, Entropy, Cosmonauts Avenue, Peach Mag, the Poetry Project, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, What Urge Will Save Us, was published by Spooky Girlfriend Press in 2017. With Jackee Sadicario, she co-edits bedfellows magazine and is a 2020 Leeway Foundation Art & Change awardee. She's trying to finish a full-length poetry collection about glitchy desire.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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