Liz McGehee

III.

Today the Louisiana

Purchase is a lost dog

fornicating in the streets. We

take it in & feed it fish

whiskers. It says it has a

private jet in the Cayman

Islands. We’ve seen the ad

on craigslist. The river

spreads lies faster than

Jackie Chan’s left foot. & the

dog smiles limply at your

breasts. A reminder our

home is the backbone of

some flat desire. The first

night you laid me down here,

we whispered secrets. We

fled our bodies. I pinned you

down by the water for

warmth. And my blood

vessels baked. And my

knees clapped a symphony

of clicks. Now the president

slinks from room to room like

a black cat. & we lie here like

furniture on top of infinite

amounts of furniture.

 

V.

Today we woke up with

the President between

us. He said it would be

fine. But you don’t look

fine. In the middle of the

night he bleached your

face with aspirin &

called it a joke. You

wonder what you did

wrong. Why I don’t love

you anymore. There’s

too much pain in this

stew. It’s pouring out of

my eye sockets & into

the river again. I miss

the days when we

stroked our flesh tender.

When we thought Jesus

watched us mate. How

you dove torso first into

a hurricane. You are the

scratch between my ribs

that never stops itching.

 

VI.

Today I wonder what love

feels like. I hear it’s like

warm bread dissolving in

the chest. We dip our feet

in enormous piles of

cotton. Lick at the sweaty

necks of bottles beside

the river. You say you

want children that roar

like red grit under your

nails. You make dough at

the thought. I want to

congregate inside of your

flat chest & read stories

about my life underwater.

Pick the loose hairs

staring out of your mouth

corners. My pillows are

full of conversation &

blurred time. We talk

about coastal erosion and

the war up north. Watch

my left hand as I pull

feelings out of my

existence. I need to tell

you that the Mississippi is

our future.

 

IX.

Today we played

cowboys and Indians as

foreplay. It wasn’t

politically correct. I read

the arrows across your

back. Pawed the blood

into a caricature of eating

& drinking in the library.

The way you look makes

my teeth hurt. Like a

million & half rotting

cavities in the same spot.

We use the dog for

firewood on Easter. He

knows how to brighten

the holidays. I can’t

remember a time before

us. I was never four &

half. I never learned how

to walk. Its days like this I

see black holes in the

river. I want to be an

unreliable narrator who

draws lines in the sand.

I’ll report the number of

times I spank you from

behind. I’ll finger the

holes in your stockings

until I erase my

fingerprints.

 

X.

Today we found a

garden hose that tasted

like your mother’s

prayers. I fasten it into a

necklace that shows off

your happy collarbones.

In the next room there is

a baby that makes you

quiver. You want to tell

me how you feel. I want

to fasten your hair into

braids that would make

the Indians proud, skin

an elk and wear the pelt

as an eye patch. Inside

we digest the floral

wallpaper & suck the

toenails off of their

pedestals. I look at your

hand the way the dog

ogles the sheep flanks

& lick the tobacco lining

inside of your cheek.

You look just like the

smiling Baptists that

milk me in the summer

time. Today is the day

the lord has made

 


Liz McGehee has a bachelor’s in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University where she concentrated in poetry. Liz also read fiction for the undergraduate journal, Delta, and helped to narrow down submissions. She am originally from New Orleans, which is one of the reasons why your magazine appeals to me. Liz loves when literary journals combine with art and photography.