Past Tense

8412052496_fd8d1ff522_bMarcela Bolivar

I haven’t the strength

To answer your request

Though I find your words

Requisite, proximate, sufficient

I would eat them if I could,

Like cherries or cancer


What color is freedom?

Every face I see is unsociably clear

I wouldn’t recognize a smile

If I held it between my teeth

Against my breasts or even if it fell

Posthumously from the ceiling light

Like a hirsute bother


What good is a smile anyways?

Can I hang my coat on it?

Will it make me beautiful?

Rich? Thin? Less formidable?

If I walk on my hands

Will I appear happier?

More sane? Less avid?


If I draw my lips, harlot red

In the shape of a bow

Will you love me as I am?

What if I cannot write

Ink being the substance

Of my selfdom

Will you declare me past tense?

And wash your face

Of my ill-advised spleen?