by Gillian Herrera
Gillian Herrera is a writer and embroidery artist from California who is now living in Portland, OR. She received her B.A. in Creative Writing from Indiana University. She has published the zine MAINT REQD. Her work has primarily appeared in her friends' zines, which are very important to her.
Elegy Written at Five Something A.M.
Maybe I swipe left on my soulmate.
Maybe this is what turning a corner feels like -
sinking in cement shoes.
Maybe this is my fault.
Maybe the curse followed us home from New Orleans.
Maybe the medicine woman is right -
skinning a yearling rabbit would help,
or burning sage in each corner of the house.
Maybe that’s the sound of my resolve breaking.
Maybe it’s the condom.
Maybe my therapist who looks like Frances McDormand is right -
I haven’t spent enough time alone yet.
Maybe chemo won’t be necessary.
Maybe you lied to me. Worse,
Maybe you didn’t.
Maybe it was an accidental overdose.
Maybe it’s only possible to love a memory.
Maybe you’re right – everything comes to a bitter end.
Maybe Belinda Carlisle is right -
heaven is a place on earth.
Maybe there’s no room for us.
Maybe instead of a gun you choose
a strong length of cord, a gas pedal, an 8 ball.
Maybe my grandmother was right -
tragedies come in triplets.
Maybe I dream of you three nights in a row.
Maybe every time I start to type that “fuck off” text
I think of you pointing your cigarette
skyward to Perseus before I can hit SEND.
Maybe I double my dosage one night.
Maybe it’s not as accidental as I tell you.
Maybe I move to San Diego.
Maybe I stop running for once, hold my ground.
Maybe that’s why I always lose at chess: impatience.
Maybe I take the batteries out of the smoke alarm
and put them in my vibrator.
Maybe only then does the fire start.
Maybe I want your body, familiar, wrapped
around mine like a bandage.
Maybe when I kiss the next man, I swallow his soul.
Maybe I shave my head, smear it with ash.
Maybe the Catholics are right -
fear is the heart of love.
Maybe love has no heart.