What I Meant to Say

By Emily Alexander

friends I am not in love these days I wait
for the bus when it’s cool enough
I bake little treats in muffin tins for fun
I say sea urchin        squash blossom

vacuous oh no I’m afraid
I don’t know

what this means and many others the usual
fears plus some     uniquely mine balloons popping
in a small room needing immediately

a tooth pulled in a city I’m only visiting strange
coffee shops parking lots
I’m not sure
the rules here     maybe these are
usual after all I don’t mean what I say

always what’s the difference these days
before going anywhere I out loud
say     phone wallet keys

yesterday I said it and still
forgot all I needed then from the freeway

the ocean right there among everything oh

friends I’m just undone you know
what I mean       truth is these days I find myself
occasionally full

of rage other times beer sitting with Halle
on her bedroom floor  what’s new

oh man did you hear
about whoever I’m hungry are you
a little flimsy
drunk now the city rumors its width around us

and sometimes over it we just say
very quietly yeah


Emily Alexander’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Hobart PulpOn the Seawall, and The Penn Review. She lives in Idaho.

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