Sometimes We Build Small Ships
and we put them in our pocket
and we hope they sail us somewhere
sunshine. Sometimes we build ourselves
large oceans and we pray that they will take us
somewhere warm hearted. Sometimes we carry
on our backs big metal swings and sometimes we rust when it rains.
Most times we eat at regular-sized tables and other days we don’t want to be
anything at all and so we make ourselves small.
Sometimes we make solar systems
out of our bruises. We sit on the bed and stare
at our friends and say do you see Taurus? Do you
see milky? Do you see meteor? If we cry sparklers,
our hands feel like they’re burning. Sometimes they’re burning
and no one has water. Sometimes our friends burn
from the inside out and pieces of them come off on the light switch
and sometimes they sit on our couch
and we can’t tell which one is darker.
Sometimes we build tiny loves in our hearts and hope
they become large. Sometimes we pluck them out
through our eyes and name them. Sometimes we forget them
and when we hide they come out and rub our heads and pity us
the way we want to be pitied. And sometimes they build us
and make us large. And hold us up towards the sky and let it bless us.
The word for sitting in darkness
together, waiting for something
The word for yearning to be
somewhere you are not.
The feeling you’re where
you shouldn’t be.
The word for when you come
home and everything has changed
but the curtains and rugs.
The word for the uncontrollable
habit of thinking everything
is a symbol.
The word for the woman who
sits on her doorstep yelling
obscenities at her husband.
I love you. I don’t love you.
There is an opening in the doorway,
I might go that way. I might.
There is a mark left on my skin
from your clothes. I love you. The word
for when everything
means something else.
Kallie Fandalays has poems published in, or forthcoming from PANK, Black Warrior Review, Tupelo Quarterly, december, and elsewhere. She is the author of Dovetail Down the House (forthcoming from Burnside Review in 2016) and she edits Kenning journal.