Zoe Antoine-Paul | poetry | Desperate Measures

Desperate Measures

You pantomime love; stir it hot and shallow
in my coffee cup, waltz it through my living room
while you fishlip the tune – Ella or Billie Holiday,

suggest we leave the lights on in our wine weed hybrid haze
and call it lovemaking, but months and months of skimming skin
and still the shape of your anger or sad or unrelenting,
catastrophic joy is all but imaginary, a phantom heart
pulsing through ochre-colored smoke.

Maybe this is what they mean by killing time;
slaughtered seconds strewn about our ankles,
minutes, butchered and bloodied on your bedroom floor,

the six hours I waited for you to cry when your grandmother died:
soldiered, ready to be your shoulder, but you walked in
zipper undone, belt in your fist a limp sacrifice,
and of course I obliged, pretended it was your grief
moving against me.

I want to split you open; sawtooth your nonchalance
into a vulnerability I can hold in my hands, raw and heaving;
bend you back -- rib for rib, and pull up the love
stuck in your left ventricle.

Once, while you were at the supermarket,
I sat with your grandmother on her back porch,
her tongue tutting in disapproval. I told her
I'd wreck you, wash you in intimacy --
you'd gleam, you'd gleam.

Beeper Peddle is a writer and healer living on the East Coast. She lives with her partner and their beloved soul puppy. Beeper writes about sorrows, lies, and deep loves. When you read her work, you will dip down into her heart and end up in all manner of body parts. Should you find yourself reflected in these words, it is merely coincidence; however, it does not surprise her you share the same heart. Find her at bethpeddle.com and @beeperpeddle on Twitter and Instagram

Zoe Antoine-Paul was born on the island of Saint Lucia, but now calls Brooklyn home. Her work has been published in F(r)iction Magazine, Scapegoat Review, Funicular Magazine, New Note Poetry, Red Ogre Review, West Trade Review, where she volunteers as a reader, and other publications. Zoe writes about the city, the beauty in the mundane, and everyday internal turmoil. She can be found on Instagram @space.junkie13.