MADELEINE GROSSMAN


Madeleine Grossman is originally from New Jersey (USA) and is currently an
undergraduate at New York University studying English, French, and Creative
Writing. She has been published in Kentucky Review.






When all the sane people are asleep

we seep bone into bone
September & salmon avocado rolls
a highway sign for Trenton holds us
between its fingers &
i huddle behind the black beans
of huevos rancheros
it's easy to sleep next to a naked man &
hard to love someone hard-boiled
we forgive the bed bugs
for sucking our blood
even though they are making love
under the mattress instead of us
& at least someone is happy &
it's easy to ask for absolution
but hard when another man is
hard & chefs are buying
tilapia at the fish market
at 5am
some nights i grind
Chicago between my teeth
some nights you're sleeping
on some girl’s sofa bed
i smoke a couple packs
of soreness every day
thumbs shaking and yellow you
blister me silly
hide me in the sewage
floating in a pilates instructor's leftover green tea
how does one bubble in the bath
when someone has swallowed
the plug
if you came
back i'd never
touch anyone else again
& we would wonder
where our bodies went






Calisthenics

You are a man doing pull ups on a telephone wire,
push-ups on a waterbed,

I mountain climb you
into tenderness,

I Russian twist your palm creases
until they form a biking trail —

I corkscrew open your left side,
listen.

To love is to consume flammables,
is to bear crawl on a splintered floor,
is to dance your fingertips upon the broiler pan.

One day we will store our sweat
in a glass jar and

you will lick it clean after
I long jump out the window.






Running on Silver Experiments

When the clairvoyants have
settled their score with the florists
I will stuff chrysanthemums in my mouth
and you will start seeing through your third eye —
Tell me how Tuesday was once Monday
and how you once played Twister on a bathroom floor —
I oil pull it out of you,
the wanton soup of you, your pickled brainwaves,
the story of a possum climbing on your shoulders.
In Keflavík I speak to a fisherman
about your herring hands,
I now swallow icicles for fun
and chop the stems off forget-me-nots
while you read ex-lovers palms in Idaho.






Death by Japanese Ceramics

When I walk into your apartment, I see a Japanese ceramic vase and slip it under my dress when you turn to grab wooden spoons from the kitchen. After you reappear, my thighs have fused with the speckled clay, the pigment of past life a blush upon my cheeks. This covalent bond, I'm sucked in through the smooth opening, brushing past the baby's breath. I will live in this non-life, rubbing a couple of sticks together for warmth.



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