Two Poems / by Emily Alexander

conflicting desires

the consistency of these elbows, knobby knees, slight
split of speech like a lip in a fistfight, first 
to bleed, i am tired of this
kind of permanence, just like i am tired
of sifting through the same sand in my skin, finding nothing
but slipping through, i want to empty 
my body of its contents, wash myself out like a glass stained
red wine, find out what's cracked, what's howling what
is howling? 

sound bounces off solid
objects; ribs, chin, chest, it's hard to teach quiet
when every mouth echoes, i want to know which corridor
to walk through to find the root of whatever tree
has planted itself in every corner of me, every tangle
of leaves reaching
for some unknown edge of sky, reaching 
through every pore as if searching for escape, or 

reaching for some unknown
edge of sky, as if by touching, affirming 
some kind of certainty.






it is your birthday, and in another
life i might be sitting in your
lap, but here, you are across 
the room, i am pretending 
not to write a poem about you. it's
silly, really, this ache, this reaching
for wrists without knowing 
where the vein is, only the shape
of it, shape it should be, see 
sometimes all i need is a tongue
in my mouth to remind me
i have one, you
are warm, solid, you are here, no
matter the distance, what i mean
is this. listen. you are all
kinds of carnival, while
i'm still trying to recognize
my face in the mirror maze, so
how we arrived
in the same place is a mystery, but
still. i have curled into your body
like a comma, pausing, no
matter our opposite
languages, directions, questions.
it is your birthday, and i want 
to ask you to stay, say 
anything in my direction, i'll
assume yes, i'll assume
my fingers taking shape across
the solidity of you, i'll assume
solidity, my own skin 




Emily Alexander is a student, aspiring writer, mediocre (yet enthusiastic) chef, and nervous driver. She is slowly working her way through an English degree at the University of Idaho, while learning to be a functional human being. More of her work can be found in the Harpoon Review, A Literation, and Blue Monday Review.