conjuring anew

— Raena Shirali

you don’t know why you feel the urge to tell him
in his absence you collect debris   :   ripped

envelopes, the coin he pressed against your nipple
to see how hard you’d shiver

you thought then you knew the cold. you thought then
your spikes were weapons

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so you are a spine with several protrusions

that doesn’t make you unlovable

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remind yourself   :   your situation is only negative
if you consider it in contrast to pastels   :   the sky almost
a dusting of pink, his thumb & forefinger
hooked around your earlobe

+

e calls you paint speckled
but means rust ridden. he calls you corrugated

but you’re already on your back. you’re too fair
to be   :   too dark to be   :

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if you took all the cloud’s colors at dusk & mixed them together
you’d get brown, anyway. in this way, you are at the center
of the sky—& he is another object
headed straight toward it

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or this is no firmament, but a landfill

you may be just another artifact
kept in an old shoebox—a love letter he takes out
after several glasses, reads less-than-fondly

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it’s hard, isn’t it, to look at yourself

without a mirror   :   without a man

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if you’re ready for the recipe, take out your largest
porcelain bowl. gather scents you feel are particularly

you   :   rosemary, lavender, rain soaked cigarettes, dark
ripe sweat. let them sit with each other.

in the half light by a lace curtain
resist the urge to mix. resist the urge

to make any blooming of your simplest parts

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at least, if you’re going to be a cold, left thing
you can call yourself spica

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at least, once you’re cold & left
you can call yourself anything


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