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“Everyone wants to give a writer the perfect notebook. Over the years I’ve acquired stacks: One is leather, a rope of Rapunzel’s hair braids its spine. Another, tree-friendly, its pages reincarnated from diaries of poets who now sit in cubicles. One is small and black like a funeral dress, its pages lined like the hands of a widow. There’s even a furry blue one that looks like a shag rug or a monster that would hide under it— and I wonder why? For every blown out candle, every Mazel Tov, every turn of the tassel, you gift-wrap what a writer dreads most: blank pages. It’s never a notebook we need. If we have a story to tell, an idea carbonating past the brim of us, we will write it on our arms, thighs, any bare meadow of skin. In the absence of pens, we will repeat our lines deliriously like the telephone number of a parting stranger until we become the craziest one on the subway. If you really love a writer, fuck her on a coffee table. Find a gravestone of someone who shares her name and take her to it. When her door is plastered with an eviction notice, do not offer your home. Say I Love You, then call her the wrong name. If you really love a writer, bury her in all your awful and watch as she scrawls her way out.”—Megan Falley, “If You Really Love a Writer”
“It is only September. I don’t know how many seasons I will be allowed to love you yet. What I do know is that you have flown one thousand Miles to stand in my kitchen, dropping chocolate chips into pumpkin pancakes like arranging freckles for the face of a perfect child. Feeding me the extra semisweet moles. I don’t yet know for how many years you might flip me pancakes for. If you will still love me when that blonde tree sheds her Hollywood wig. If we will make it to the season of the blueberries, but I don’t care. The tree is a pin-up girl posing outside my window and you’re only looking at me. Every latte in this city smells like the only fruit in the world we carve faces from. Tell me might that be something?”—Megan Falley, “A Simple Love Poem”
“You have woken up in his bed every morning for a year. After he persuades himself inside you for the fifth time this hour, you motion to the heap of clothes on the floor. To the shower and the towel. To both your boots and the metro cards on his nightstand. The beckoning day. You are thinking of adding vanilla extract to his pancake batter. Of the places outside his big city window you have not yet seen together. Of twirling his hair in your lap as he says genius and hilarious things in a park somewhere, in the sun. He asks Where do you think you’re going, Miss? And the story does not change. He has never, and will not now snatch your wrist. Will not smack a chorus of yeses from you like resuscitating a jukebox. You are a girl, and you have learned to bargain your way with laughter before. But this morning your giggle is a foreign currency he won’t accept. You explain the soreness between your legs. How the well has dried up. Feels like three dry cotton rags are folded inside you. Your body needs a break. But the story does not change. He does not yank you by the ponytail. There is no hand stretched over your mouth like duct tape. There never was and there won’t be now. Instead, he pours a cup of guilt. Says you are a feast and he, the famine. How selfish it would be to hoard such muscle. You explain a second time: five cotton rags folded inside. Dry as licking cinnamon and sand. Pain, you say. A small rip. But he doesn’t tear open your dress. Does not palm your shoulder. He never did, and he isn’t going to now. Rather, he says If our appetites don’t align, we probably will not work. You beg, cry, say five times already this morning, baby. Pain. Rip. Cinnamon and sand rags. He says Probably will not work. He doesn’t lift a finger, but smirks as you throw yourself down. As you pin your own shoulder back. Wrench open your two legs. Split your favorite dress on purpose. As you rip.”—Megan Falley, “For Those Who Asked for Details”
“It is only September. I don’t know how many seasons I will be allowed to love you yet. What I do know is that you have flown one thousand Miles to stand in my kitchen, dropping chocolate chips into pumpkin pancakes like arranging freckles for the face of a perfect child. Feeding me the extra semisweet moles. I don’t yet know for how many years you might flip me pancakes for. If you will still love me when that blonde tree sheds her Hollywood wig. If we will make it to the season of the blueberries, but I don’t care. The tree is a pin-up girl posing outside my window and you’re only looking at me. Every latte in this city smells like the only fruit in the world we carve faces from. Tell me might that be something? ”—Megan Falley, “A Simple Love Poem”
At 7:35 A.M, you lay your tired body on mine
before peeling off, like a slow band-aid.
At 8:40 you sprint home and make instant coffee.
At 9:45 we finally drink it, cold.
I finish your leftover half.
By 10:50 you are already breathless.
I live for every time we overlap.
When 11:55 comes I spend the entire minute convincing you to stay.
You never do.
By noon I put my hands on your shoulders and say, “Baby,
you’re getting thin. All this running in circles and barely sitting down to eat.”
At 1:05 you tell me that while you were gone,
15,300 babies were born.
At 2:10 you don’t say a word,
just come in and kiss me for sixty seconds straight.
At 3:15 we sit quiet, listening to rain falling everywhere
in the world at once: all 15,000 tons.
At 4:20 we pull a little from the tight joint I keep behind your ear.
You do not inhale.
At 5:25 you meet me for happy hour.
My neck already salted, a lime wedged in my teeth,
a shot of tequila sitting on the bar.
At 6:30 I hear the ticking.
I count your heartbeat like seconds between thunderclaps.
By 7:35 I can see you in the distance,
each second a tease until you drape over me.
We always love quick and you never let me hold you.
I dream of drinking you through a straw.
At 8:40 you watch my beard grow 0.00027 of an inch.
At 9:45 we do not speak.
Too many people have died since we last met.
At 10:50 we pray for a meteor,
at least a clumsy kid to spill sugar in our gears.
11:55 is my favorite.
We’re only apart for mere minutes.
But at midnight you’ll apologize sixty times
because it will always be like this.
At 1:04 AM I am already sleeping.
It’s exhausting loving someone
who is constantly running away.
Megan Falley, What The Hour Hand Said To The Minute Hand
new york craigslist > personals > missed connections
you were last seen walking through a field of pianos. no. a museum of mouths. in the kitchen of a bustling restaurant, cracking eggs and releasing doves. no. eating glow worms and waltzing past my bedroom. last seen riding the subway, literally, straddling its metal back, clutching electrical cables as reins. you were wearing a dress made out of envelopes and stamps, this was how you travelled. i was the mannequin in the storefront window you could have sworn moved. the library card in the book you were reading until that dog trotted up and licked your face. the cookie with two fortunes. the one jamming herself through the paper shredder, afraid to talk to you. the beggar, hat outstretched bumming for more minutes. the phone number on the bathroom stall with no agenda other than a good time. the good time is a picnic on water, or a movie theatre that only plays your childhood home videos and no one hushes when you talk through them. when they play my videos i throw milk duds at the screen during the scenes i watch myself letting you go – lost to the other side of an elevator – your face switching to someone else’s with the swish of a geisha’s fan. my father could have been a travelling salesman. i could have been born on any doorstep. there are 2,469,501 cities in this world, and a lot of doorsteps. meet me on the boardwalk. i’ll be sure to wear my eyes. do not forget your face. i could never.