Three Poems / by Allison Goldfarb

Summer Birthday

Earlier I shot a gun full of neon light.
Middle of Missouri, right in the chest.  We played against children. 
They called us teenagers.  Two nights into a nauseous August.
Lazer Runner. Nascar Speed Park.  Outlet beauty supply store.
We keep to basements and shopping malls,
air-conditioned cars.  Thighs stick to the leather.
Bud Light sticks to the Twister mat. Stick a key in that can
and gulp.  Jam a candle in a pink frosted sugar cookie. 
Happy fucking birthday.  Hold me close and let me spew visions
of the future. Prom night kiss me.  Timing is everything. 
I know you like the sum of an identity is a hand on a knee
in the booth of an IHOP. I now have two existences. 
Help me justify keeping the one. Feed me tomatoes
off the vine after hours of sobbing into your mattress.
This humidity has become a cold sweat fever dream
that is melting me into the fabric of these sidewalks.





The Sun Is Sick, A Pink Magritte

Peony blossoms bowed on chrome countertops, light angles from your cheeks. 
I tongue the thin cut across my index finger: plasma, your oils. 

I sense this violent bond in matter, and in architecture when windows reflect the sea.
Your eyes, wet, salty, reflect the car parts. 

I live by the ocean and when you’re gone I watch the surface
and the cars, tongue wagging mad.





Were We Memory Or Were We

It is not enough to be wise.  The season communicates in symbols, yellow
smears against dark green skies, heat lightning ripples edges of thighs. 
In this new element, she knows she feels pleasure
not in her flesh, but in something immaterial. There is nothing static
about her being. The lake’s surface is a mirror that breaks the sky
against itself, cuts the breast at the horizon line.
The diner was closed so we just drove home. Ate ham on white bread,
crusts cut off. She dreams what’s going to happen to us, the way a speck is swallowed
and the seed is a source, connected in chiasmic unity. There is grit in the bend
of her knee. How long has the window been left open?





Allison Goldfarb studied English and Critical Theory at Macalester College. Find her at