in a blackout: heat like an oven, rolling down over the desert in waves. antithetical to the ocean I miss so much—different like siblings. my bare feet in the swimming pool, cotton underwear, cotton t-shirt, nothing else. sugary cereal sampler—I’m doing everything now that I wasn’t allowed to do as a child. move the thermostat. get a knock on the head.
wine-drunk and tossing around in bed. bed too small for two people to fit on. too lazy to move. tim gunn on the television telling us to make it work. wanting everyone to be stupid for a change. my brain is the size of Alaska. surprisingly big, but just as empty. only a few cells left standing. can’t say I love you. physically cannot say it.
so many things I cannot do. I tried for freckles and ended up sunburnt to a crisp. stalking around the backyard, stomping through chlorinated water. threw the shock in. wondered what would happen if I ate it.
carpenter ant invasion in the walls. fished out a dead rabbit from the pool. threw a poorly attended funeral in the woods. same recurring dream where my dad dies and somebody phones to tell me. same monotone, same upset stomach and stinging tears. every night now.
still have his statue of Mickey Mouse sitting out in the flower garden. still sitting, collecting water, incubating mosquito babies. keep forgetting to tip out the ears.
vitamin d deficiency. echochamber I built for myself in my bedroom. out by the pool again, with dead daddy-long-legs and frogs that hop back in when I try to pull them out. mom’s boyfriend takes his shirt off. gross.
pruney fingers. broken ferris wheel. august showers act like mediums, foretelling of hurricane season: wash us into the sewers, where the alligators crawl. I’m not scared of them; I can handle it. you have to pick them up by their heads first, then their tails. put your fingers right up by the teeth. if they start chasing you, run zig-zag to confuse them. I’m florida-smart.
boredom partially healed by american folklore: reptile-dogs and men who watch houses, keeping me up at night. ay, de mi, llorona, llorona—I could cry so much. sargasso sea that I keep gulping down and leaking out in a vain attempt to be healthy. everybody else is, in their bikinis and spray tans at the beach on the weekends. I’m just a version of my eleven-year-old self who’s allowed to get drunk now: inventing new shades of pale, festering hatred, turning the backyard into a swampland whirlpool. I wish it were never summer.
Michelle Moroses is a writer and poet from the Jersey shore. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Poets Reading the News, The Bitchin' Kitsch, and The Eunoia Review. She can be found online at writermichellemoroses.wordpress.com.