purple_half.png

2 poems
by
Jon Lemay

Jon Lemay is a poet from New Hampshire. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University, where he served as an Editor-in-Chief for Salt Hill Journal. Jon's poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Salamander, Nashville Review, Juked, Hobart, Bodega, and elsewhere—and his reviews have appeared in Barrelhouse and Poetry Northwest. You can find him on Twitter @yawnlemay and on Instagram @jonlemay, and you can find more of his work at linktr.ee/jonlemay.

Snake

Someday can be a difficult word to swallow,

but I always find it harder to say.

 

I’m sure someone has recently told me Be patient,

which feels like being instructed to cup my hands together

 

and wait in the dark beneath something I’m not sure is there

while some other small, insidious thing spools around my wrists.

 

No one believes me when I tell them I realized

my ex looks like my favorite pornstar

 

only well after we had broken up. I’ve spent the past few hours

ricocheting among all the apps on my phone

 

because I haven’t spoken to anyone all day:

one of my best friends is in love, while another’s heart

 

was broken more recently than mine—

and I’m too competitive when it comes to such things.

 

It’s late and I’ve plucked my chin clean of almost every hair.

No one will text me for the rest of the night.

 

Now I’m worried I’m beyond a parody of myself. Baby snake,

loop yourself into a pile on the small of my back while I sleep.

 

You don’t have to stay long. Just longer than anyone else.

Sweetheart

I won’t stop trying to be loved by everyone

until everyone hates me. Not long dead,

a bee basks in sunlight on the nearby windowsill.

The hours have emptied themselves of marrow,

so it’s too late to try anything today.

I had wanted this poem to end on the previous line

until I showed it to my ex before she was my ex,

and she kissed me and said I’m so excited to see it

when it’s done. I wonder if she was right about it being

unfinished, and about every other thing she later said.