5 Poems
by Melissa Broder

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He said drop your notebook
the temple is everywhere.

He said a magic mushroom
would eliminate tennis nose
and lend feather atmosphere.

We dropped the drop.
Chimney memory
oceaned away.

I felt like a holiday pumpkin.
We were very sweater
holding thicket vigil
until plants curled.

In a different version
we remained in the rift
between breath and vision
and we're still under that flap.

In this version we exited
to confront a restaurant.

I got touchy
about ranch dressing.

He knew how to take a staircase
from stem to lesson.
He didn't need California.

I made it about object itself:
stem and mushroom.

I couldn't stop
collecting spores.

I was shoehorning
stamens into a container
trying to architect
the whole diorama.

My arms were like cupboards.
I wouldn't let go of the pipe.

Dementia field
was another kind
of photosynthesis.

He pointed to the staircase
and I said ethanol.
I put him in a locker
and entered the grain range.

It was cannibal tundra.
I was conductor.

My eye was a centimeter
but I never drank
a pink girl drink.


I ran out of Canaan

                    and fell
                    on unicorn farm

                               moss held me    still
                    they gave me a mare

a quiet Arabian

                               I was not forced to ride
                    just brush

brushing I went
                               into my forehead

                               grew over my nightgown
                               my feet     slept
I could hear

                               Jacob call me home

rot on that geography
so I stayed

                               make no mistake
a saint
                               would saddle up
and fly     over the olive trees

                               she can have that
                    nosebleed for me    

I am staying

                               powdered by silence

I do not
puzzle the flow

                    I know what I know

                               there is a light

there was a coat.

Binge Eating in 2067

Wild man is the same as me
starved into fractions.

We all are, the whole colony
raised on antennae

sugar cane screenshots
pixelated onions.

But I have a jaw that seeks chunks
and he has the heart of a fat man.

In his cabin we drink vapor gravy
snarf dust fowl, sediment meats.

Nothing is enough
he hangs me from the bunks

then slaps my growling stomach
until I spew static

making space for ash fish
and elemental octopi.

I find a thighbone in his mattress
and think of friends gone missing.

I hear my human heart beat
and wonder why he has utensils.

When he cooks a real live cassoulet
flesh and oil, no hoax

I turn my face from the tray
and put my fingers in his mouth.


When I was a boy your age
I lived on a star called Earth
I think I miss that shitty old time
Nitrate tubing we called hot dogs

Put a telescope in your eye
If from your piehole comes questions
Do you ever? Did you ever?
You'll only write a history book

Marked deluxe and wet
Though no star is a hot dog
And every galaxy is skippable
Don't let us old farts fool you

But if you put nothing in your eye
Take the questions out of your piehole
I'll let you kiss me on the lips
And suck my ancient oxygen.

30th Edition

When I remake Lolita
with my old English teacher

I’m not enough
gangly bones.

                               The rule is

he must burrow in my convex

                        while I coldly
                        call him fruithead.

                               An extra milk molecule

Somebody forgot to freeze me.

Nymphets don’t vibrate
in their bobby socks and anklets.

                        I am supposed to be cork dry.
                        I am a fat fish.

                                                Nevermind a dolly

when I’m legal to buy weaponry.

                        If a jury doesn’t care
                        what I do with my torso

call me Humbert.