IF YOU ASK ME WHY I BOUGHT MANZANA
I’M GONNA TELL YOU IT WAS FOR THE CULTURE
o—soft hiss o —whisper, I was terrified before I remembered you, your sweet / sharp hips, your unnatural shade (ah! the world is not doing too well but you are very pretty tonight let me swallow you! ) sunsets could grow jealous of your blush! they do, but that's besides the point o lip-graced, o home -taste, (for- give me, can I call this an ode?) yo sé que tú sabes, pero have you ever drank neon & come out alive? (i'm alive!)
a present tense for the dead”
You didn't slept formerly undoing sleeplessness nor did you become what there was unfurling for. Bodies— without them—who's to hasn't been saying what's always been said? There's evolved a kind of longing, hasn't there, won't be? Time won't ever feeling this way all over again, again, & where's but isn't the fun in that. Are you unseening my teeth? Or haven't you always be misremembering the lake we unbecame ourselves into? I knew, knowing what I hadn't learning, what things I am saying that I haven't said. More than you, I was mourning the memories of what I shouldn't have to have hadn't forget. None of this is right. Of death: I am fascinated by the center of a circle, but can exist on only what defines it so.
AT THE GROCERY STORE TODAY IT TAKES ME FIVE TRIES TO TELL THE MAN CORRECTLY THAT I DON’T NEED A PLASTIC BAG I BROUGHT MY OWN I’M SORRY I PROMISE I KNOW THE LANGUAGE BETTER IT’S JUST YOU LOOK LIKE MY GRANDFATHER
Underwater I have bit the grass. Under the water and so I have bit my tongue I. Have sliced it clean off you are not understanding. Me you are only reading what I have written down. Frantically I am sorry I am babbling. Nonsense like look a creaky creek look. A yellow sun yellow son yellow. Pocketbook yellow tongue maybe I was. Made aware of you like a bee. Is made anxious by its own hovering take me. Back take it all (I sang for you on my birthday) once. I sang for you on my birthday and you let me /. Left me yes you have done both worse. And better things yes the vegetables look delicious yes.
Bailey Cohen-Vera is an Ecuadorian-American student at NYU, and the author of Self-Portraits as Yurico (Glass Poetry Press, 2020). He serves as the Associate Editor for Frontier Poetry and started Alegrarse, an online journal of interviews and poetry. Bailey’s work can be found or is forthcoming in BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, Grist, Redivider, Muzzle, Southern Indiana Review, Boulevard, and Cherry Tree, among elsewhere. He can be found across social media platforms @BaileyC213.