top of page

alina pleskova is a poet who lives in philly by way of moscow. her first chapbook, what urge will save us, was published by spooky girlfriend press in april 2017. poems have appeared in cosmonauts avenueamerican poetry reviewelderly, queen mob's teahouse, & more. she's on twitter @nahhhlina.

1 poem

by Alina Pleskova


As loss illusion goes, you feel

more pain in losing something


than pleasure in getting it. That’s how

want becomes the narrative engine,


what else? its faithful pump. You learn

to dislocate ardor & throw it into a look,


to catch yr death drive gleaming

off a plane wing, awash in golden light,


to repeat I know what I am

when you want to wriggle out


from under any thumb— a safe phrase

too empty to question, same as


I have my reasons, as do you,

& we drape them over ourselves


all night. I’m never called fierce

unless it’s aesthetic measure,


but I’m fixing to become a ruthless

Domme of my own heart, though


it doesn’t fit any disposition I’ve held

If given the Marshmallow Test,


even now, I’d grope for the reward

Hey hive mind, can you recommend


some healthy modes of debasement

in the area? When I said my sex life


was hexed, my roommate scolded

Not every day can be Cirque du Soleil, Alina


The spirit is GGG, but the flesh

is so tired of ante-upping parlor tricks.


Like when a recent date

asked for electro-stimulation—


little concentrated shocks, he said,

I just wanna fuck w/ my dick electrified

We’ve each got our ways of keeping

the lights on. When I go on my nerve


as a favorite poet prescribed,

I succumb to my porous will,


little concentrated shocks

What one calls tenderness, the other


recognizes as swapping traumas

until someone taps out first


What one calls lust between us, the other

recognizes as her default thrum


One called our daze sorcery,

but naming should never precede


foreplay, or at least a finger licked

& stuck out to check for a current


I was born into this life during

the Week of Sensitivity,


but I’m learning to become

a night-blooming cactus:


to live exactingly, w/ less

to cast augury inward


to hold back until conditions are optimal

to unfurl only when I so desire

bottom of page