Alexis Pope

TREES DIE SO I CAN DRAW HEARTS AROUND YOUR NAME

There’s a space between my index finger and your left thumb. I want to draw with my number two pencil and then erase it one million times infinity. That is, until you decide that we can be like we were. Stick figures in the park. Stick figures with our heads misplaced, until we draw them just so. It’s hard to imagine inventing the wheel or fire or batteries because how did they know? I guess it’s like our fingers and thumbs and how they’re here because we need them. Everything is here and not here. Sometimes I put my arms around my legs and squeeze real hard. I pretend that I’m the end of a sentence. The end of anything would be better that if it never began and I’m all like crying and need a tissue now. Sometimes I get started thinking about all kinds of things and can’t stop. Like how it would be if my toes were webbed and if you would still love me if I was a midget because I’d love you even if you had a tiny little nub tail under your jeans. Okay, maybe not. But if you grew one and I already loved you it would be no problem. Right now I’m the candle with no one to light me. You’re the car with no spare on the side of the road. Somehow we’re both broken or in need of something the other can’t give. There’s no sugar in the pantry and no eggs in the fridge so how are we supposed to make these damn cupcakes? All I know is I love you like birds. I love you like the first flowers in spring. I love you like notebook paper that tears clean. I love you like cold, cold water. If you cut me down the center I’d bleed heart shaped puddles. If you kissed me on the cheek I’d smile.

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I MAKE THESE THINGS FOR YOU

Help me, I’ve forgotten how to breathe while turned inside out. There’s a puddle in my pocket and I can’t stop fiddling with it. I can’t help that I’m nervous. You do this every time. Across the table feels like hurricane season and I’m the boarded window. I want to pick at your eyebrows and skin because I feel like a monkey around you. I find things in your hair and I make crafts out of them. This one is a doll shaped like a balloon animal but it’s not made out of balloons. Your skin is flexible. I wrap gifts with it. This one is shaped like a tangerine but doesn’t taste like citrus. Yesterday you told me to leave you alone but I know you’re just being silly. You tell me to stop eating ice cubes. That maybe my iron is low. I made this one last night after you told me it was over. It’s shaped like a tiny apartment building. Inside there are bunches of tiny people shapes and pet shapes and couch shapes and the people shapes are eating at tables shapes and making love in bed shapes. Please love me. I make all of these things for you. I make them and don’t show you. I have a doll shaped you at home. Don’t worry, it’s too tiny to do anything gross with. Sometimes when you smile at me I can feel my insides bend into all kinds of happy shapes like I’m a real happy person when I’m actually not really all that happy because I’m mostly sad because you don’t like me as much as I like you. Sometimes I make the people shapes jump out of the window shapes because only they can understand how it is I feel.

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