1 poem

by Lily Meyersohn

Lily Meyersohn is a 24 year-old writer living in New York City, where she was born and raised. Her poetry and literary nonfiction explore the themes of family, obsession and desire, queerness, and Judaism, including within "Exit Interview With My Grandmother," a long form piece that is forthcoming with Audible Originals.  When she's not writing, Lily does health justice work and research in Rhode Island, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Vietnam, South Africa, and Argentina.

Baby Poem

Read it like you’re in love with all of them, in love with everything:

 

Her eyes were always so fucking wide and I guess that’s why we called her cherished. Or whale eyed.

That she left her bike on a busy street for days on end only to find it just where she left it, untouched, only that type of thing.

 

Early in the morning, the three of us

let a teakwood candle melt all the way down and talked a lot. My hands

were on her knees. I felt like my eyes were too big and bulging as I looked at her.

 

She wore a trash bag for a shirt and a trash bag for pants that night.

Brushed her teeth with q-tips in her ears

and climbed into the bath to lie there with trash bags crinkling around her.

 

What I’m saying is that she always had more fun and it was very special to be privy to that kind of life.

 

Like if we had a baby we said

—there was cake, clumsily cradled in her hands. Chocolate and all over her lips.

We’re meant to be

because she hates her icing, I only eat icing. It was sickening, cloying,

sometimes hard to stand.

—the baby would have bad physics and her eyes would bulge so far out her head they’d burst!

 

She had a mane of salty hair and it suited her, her and her freckles and her very thin lips.

She said only girls with full lips could pierce the septums of their noses and I laughed,

thinking of a girl I had loved who had that ring through her nose

lead her around like a cow someone once said, unconvinced it was not my mother,

 

Well yes, she did have the fullest cracked lips. She smeared my red on them and when we left the house I felt proud of her body in a way that I hated about myself.

 

Thinking her hair would probably never show grey. Too blonde,

and when I catch flax waving, corn, shit sparkling,

it usually takes me a moment. To remember we’re not speaking and that I’m not even sure what city she lives in anymore, or technically I’m not supposed to.

 

She paid him fiddlehead and that means they must be living together again. This is called Venmo-stalking.

Another day arrabiata. Wild, thinking how in love they are, they have this life together,

they cook pasta with arrabiata not just red sauce from a plastic bottle. Oh, c’mon baby,

RAGU—they’re only twenty six!

 

And you know what? I hope they’re happy. Maybe he made the pasta with too much salt that night

but I really hope they’re happy. I wish there were a way to say such a thing and make it sound genuine

because I know it doesn’t sound that way but I swear—this time

it’s genuine. It never was before.

 

Thinking. Eighty and gone all silver!

 

Do you think they’ll have babies soon she asked me, and I went yes, maybe at twenty seven, curled closer. They’re twenty six. She’s a few months older. My mother was nine months older than my father,

this had always been important to the story about when they fell in love.

 

She was wearing white long sleeves with pit stains. Easy things

to smile about. Little belly little belly little belly I couldn’t stop saying so, my hands grabbed.

 

I showed her where to put her hands, like the soft crease between my hip and my thigh when I lean to you—that’s the very best part. That’s the pudding. Proof inside there. This was an old joke I had with someone else.

Put your hands in the pudding, cradle me clumsy.

 

Was there music? Were we laughing? The candle done, the wick gone.

 

In the morning, my skin felt like peeling

all the way off. Her breasts were flaking. But you feel soft to me. You feel soft and warm.