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1 poem

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.

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