(ON) CHOKING ON A PIECE OF MANGO & other poems
By Shannon Hearn.
BABY ALIGATORS HAVE THE ABILITY TO BITE FROM THE VERY FIRST SECOND THEY ARE BORN
if you could hear me i would take a reason and i would bundle it up tight/the spit and the dirt would thicken/into a wrinkly ball and throw it fast and full out the door and no one would say anything it would exit the wooden frame and you’d trip/falling after/it and i wouldn’t make the smile and i wouldn’t try to hold the hand/no hands/no hands touching/but my own
i told emily the history from when i would irritate from my hands with their own feeling/touching/bothering rub against each other i would feel/it i/would scream/i would/sit up in bed when i was four spread my fingers/out between the sheets letting the sheets through the spaces/of my fingers and letting the sheets hold my hands/hold away the skin on skin that was/too much/too much distracting to sleep/to sit up in bed and let the sheets hold my hands and make believe people living in a casino/so far away they were so small/all still awake talking and breathing and existing tiny and together and/awake with me
you can’t let/the skin keep you awake you can’t let the heart pounding out your stomach take away your sleep HOW MUCH SLEEP DID YOU LOSE when you started this out and why do you ball yourself into a circle sponge unable to absorb the amounts you need in order to strain out of bed and exist in a space more normal than fingers/casinos/and whoever
comes in your dreams to make you wake up/sweating and small and/gripping the sheets tighter than your fingers let you tighter than you/would like to be/who would you and why would you/like to be
draw a picture of the urn/you want to carry/you/don’t be morbid just think of what in your life is worth carrying/is worth letting you move slower and in a way careful and break
it there is no/container too fragile it is ok if you drop/it the shards/are people too
and they scatter in directions straining outward/more visible/because of the thousands of directions and the pointing is the most important/the seeing the breaking/the seeing
(ON) CHOKING ON A PIECE OF MANGO
you do not make me/feel you do not/make me feel/you do not make me/feel/better or is it less than when i am sucking on your little fingers in my sleep and then hurtling smartly down your muscles in the scientific way you/need to survive/need to/survive me and my inability to grow/a pair/a literal pair let me grow/them and let them dangle/not in a physical way in my/head let me grow a pair/two little fruits inside one pink sock and maybe you’d find this/acceptable to who you need/who makes you/feel
i can see it/man/go
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
shannon hearn is a recent graduate of the university of connecticut. she studied (english/journalism/creative writing) and is currently working at a literary agency to pay off her (large) student debt. her work has appeared in the Unrorean, WordsDance, and the Long River Review. she has work forthcoming in cream city review and the undergraduate anthology plain china.
First published in 3:AM Magazine: Friday, February 24th, 2017.