Two Poems by Keyana Stevens
Once I spent Bloomsday in Prospect Park
with a boy,
sucking on raspberries and grass.
Months later, I told you about Joyce:
his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes –
But you didn’t understand
what I was trying to tell you.
Yes, I will, yes, I will yes
Now bruises bloom across my thighs:
blueblack blood on red
to jaundiced orange.
The shape of your teeth (imperfect, snarled)
indented in my skin,
little rows of
ten round wounds.
I’m not sure you know.
You always turn the lights off.
At the gym today, I undressed and
my neighbor handed me wordlessly
a pamphlet about a local program.
Veiled language towards: “Are you ready
to take control of your life?”
And I laugh because
even if they are your teeth,
I do this to myself.
I Am Afraid of the Light
I only cry when I’m with her
and later I feel guilty, even though
tears are supposed to be cleansing.
“Progress is not linear,” she says, pulls
my hair gently back to reveal
bright redwine spots smarting where
I’ve tried to fill empty space with pain.
We all have issues, but mine
have physical representations; they spill out
into public spaces, where
I make out with her in bars,
trying to cure myself of
my own aversion to letting go.