I have a crush on a bog
They dress us with crows, my heart is a glittering onion and my veil barely stays on my face, these days are liquid-long, crawling up, desire appears on my windowsill like a many-winged bug, I want to tell you I had a nightmare again last night, that I lost you in grey-green bog water, you disappeared into the mouth of a soft crocodile, told me it wasn't a big deal because you love toothy alphabets, tattoos on your thumbs only, you can come back if you want, bring forth brine bracelets, branches filled with birds whose projects are sequin-focused cross my mind with wicking details, I promise I'll let you talk about raisins. I'll stick my feet in the pond even though I'm scared. We can be here for a few days a few hours, a few more good years, celebrations will be filled with confetti holographic and green, each shape a beautiful cutout of cranes, carrots, silver fish then sparkling roses, the lovely pale fires we once snuffed out with our sweatshirt sleeves, we can turn memories to stamps, send effort in salt pails, write some love letters, I'll wear your consumer's claws around my neck, I feel home when we're by the shore bark twists, do you feel me watching the water or are you over my crush, but do you want to wear a chandelier, do you want to make the bees jealous, your hair is blush sometimes lobelia cardinalis other days I'm in jeopardy and your crimson birds tell me you like being a ghost, they can hear you outsinging their feelings in early evenings, we miss you but you're busy, no orchid-and-arrow at my back but I can feel you, your aim is perfect your eyes are acorn and gramineus, do you still feel euphoria at the sight of water, do you still hate tentative soil, do you know what a breeze feels like against the back of your neck? For the sake of bogs, the bags, the jersey girls and waiting honey-infused pitchers, do you feel rich now you're digested, do you feel loving now you're a nutrient, have you become a plant tissue, can you stop me crying? It's early spring and I'm reminded of drowsy days when you laced your fingers through the ocean's harness, no venus yet I'm still trapped, I'm supposed to return home like nothing ever happened, and you're supposed to cast a proper haunting flood, your waters are cranberry bogs and you're appealing to everyone the problem was never your beauty, it was your lack of desire to eat me it was your obsession with left-handed fang protectors, yes that winter I fell in love again, but my heart only knows your name, I accidentally told on myself in the county diner, I'm being hunted by the others and you're not even brave enough to whistle a goodbye my way. I might have been brave once, I might have told you I hate when you grow out of control, you don't care, you're multiplying rosemary puffs and secret quartz fox in trap crates you're not tolerant of locks, this is your zone, my-my caroliniana, please keep the gators at bay, I'll take off my boots before I enter your sacred waters.
That summer, my heart was an apple
Rope-homes for crabs, sand mixed with your bottle caps, domesticated lobster legs waving, the napkin your father used at dinner, its surface stamped with the town's name and someone's initials, those days I woke late to find the two of you in bed next to me, early 90s shows playing on a faded laptop, I have tracked salt into the house again, I am praying for the clouds to eat away at my heart until it's nothing more than a seed-studded core, could be sharpened into a paring knife, could be used to take his heart as my own. He walks the edge of water, waving at seals, unaware sharks pass nearby, he told me I wasn't easy to love and that's why he isn't attracted to me anymore, he proposed to me in the liquor aisle of a supermarket and I lost the ring, my stone is opal, not topaz, everyone knows that, but what does it matter, we're about to drive through mist-sticky cream-seafoam bubble towns, we're going to get lost near inflatable beach toy vendors, we'll fight loudly at the motel, get kicked out, his daddy has money so we get to see a pool at night, lilac against the strange sky, I wish I could make this work, instead I leave almost as soon as we arrive, abandoning crustacean-crates-turned-bookshelves, there are noodles in drawers, I broke a blender, no one sees me and when I return, New England parts its leaves for Autumn but I pretend it's for me, and I am officially a sand-licked ghost, I sleep in the ash room, I smoke on the porch, and loneliness twists like a screw into lungs.
Sam Moe is a writer focusing on gastronomy and eco poetry. She is the first-place winner of Invisible City's Blurred Genres contest in 2022, and the 2021 recipient of an Author Fellowship from Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. Her first chapbook, "Heart Weeds," is forthcoming from Alien Buddha Press in September 2022 and her second chapbook, "Grief Birds," is forthcoming from Bullshit Lit in April 2023.