Sarah Jean Alexander

Sarah Jean







It’s yours so of course it is beautiful
Sarah Jean Alexander

I’ve walked in circles before
you know it’s hard to stop
once you’ve reached the perfect ratio
tight and bulbous and fast and absolute
and it’s in here you ask time to freeze
and it does
and you hold your breath for eternity

or not or basically
you don’t have to suck in anymore
basically you implode yourself into nonexistence
in a cute way in a way that people could look away from
but they don’t want to you don’t want them to

sometimes you just have to tell them
uhh, hell yeah I miss you
I think about you everyday
I remember your grin at the train station
hell yeah I do

sometimes you don’t want anyone to look anywhere
other than your implosion
so that they can feel it too and
decide on their own
whether or not they want
to join in

in the night everyone is the same as everyone else
it is helpful to listen to familiar sounds
listen to the walking back home

I am the world’s leading expert
on keeping a single human emotion
alive after it’s stopped moving

while a specific memory
doesn’t have vital signs
like a beating heart
that is tight and absolute
and a pulse
that is fast and bulbous
and a chest that falls down
just after it has risen up
I am conquering this science anyway

I tell my friend that if he were an animal
he would be a lizard and that it’s easy to say that to him
though it’s not easy for him to understand why

why he is a lizard and why it was so easy for me to say it

I say something something –­­ there are just so many kinds
and if you want to call me an animal back
I could be a lizard as well, something something

it would be cool as hell to lie in a bed with someone
who hasn’t ever done it before

in the middle of the night
what if they managed to
be the little spoon
and still push you
to the edge of the mattress
and then you had to spend the next day wondering
who moves that way?

I don’t know but it would be cool as hell
let me know if you agree
and by how much

humans don’t deserve to feel safe or happy
but it’s the only perpetual goal
that binds us all together

you say we are trying our best
but I only believe you a small amount of the time
because I know that actually
no, I am not

all of your friends
aren’t yours any longer
but they still remain friends
with each other
you are too busy
now and they are too busy

but okay, it is difficult
to understand a language
you were not born speaking

it is difficult to feel a part of a thing
that doesn’t know how
to welcome you it is difficult
to bring something to the table
when you have already left home
and the thing you could have brought
is on a low shelf inside your apartment

you think well, I could just go back and get it
you turn around to do this exactly
and just stay inside this time

there exists a small block of salt
in the center of my stomach
and it weighs me down in a way that is similar
to the feeling I get after spending too much time
in the deli deciding
which meat is best

the cold cut is painful and lonely but I do it regardless
you see it happen and
on your own you decide
it is okay to just let it

I chip away at the block in a way that
seems to do nothing and I am right

I begin to hold my breath for eternity
again and remember that I never stopped
because you can’t just stop holding your breath
for eternity once you’ve started

I slingshot my way towards a new person
and while doing it I think
how will I phrase this when it’s done

slingshut slungshot slungshut
and then realize it was just slingshotted all along
because of course it was
something something slingshotted

in the night we don’t have to worry about
words that have gone and died
in languages that persevere without them

and well I made it to here now
uhh hell yeah I’m still missing you
it’s the only way I work

after I apologise once I follow up with another seventy­-five
it’s not best for anyone this way but
I enforce this rule anyway
I am steadfast
in feeling awful past the point of comfort
I know it I am unwavering

sometimes I find myself remembering
that the only reason I am still alive
is because there are other people who are also
alive and I want to kill them

you read that in a text and respond
ha ha not true
and I write back
ha ha you’re right

you are not a garbage person but
it’s hard for you to not treat yourself like trash
it is a similar deal with me

your fingers across my neck like falling leaves
too gentle but a nice time regardless
you say it’s yours so of course it is beautiful
and I laugh out the last of my air

ha ha I say

Sarah Jean Alexander is an American writer from Baltimore. She is the author of Wildlives (Big Lucks Books, 2015) and LOUD IDIOTS (Second Books, 2016) and has been featured in the Quietus, the Fader, Noisey, Dazed Digital, Lenny Letter and other places online and in print. She is the poetry editor of Shabby Doll House and tweets @sarahjeanalex.