(not quite) a literary journal


(1)nstabilio, by KSwift

The beautiful storm has gone to sleep
 and the clouds have stopped spreading

I warm it to loosen its consistency
I sing to it until it closes its eyes—

as long as it keeps its head below the blood.

Any warmth here is only skin deep
and I’m watching shoulders hunch atop
the back of a ballpoint pen
keeping its weight steady, until
eventually I send the demon away.

We can celebrate with the crumbs around my toaster, since neither of us can
afford champagne,
and I’ll imagine patterns that don’t exist. 

I left my love on the other side of the sea
and I lost my sense halfway home,
on a submerged island, 
slipping from my shoe
and falling through the seams
and tumbling—
gaining speed—
accelerating towards the crystalline
surface of the Gulf
much like a penny twice my age
and half as worn,

Yes, I manage multiple slips of the tongue,
fits of rage
I reckon another decade and
we’ll be typing out our feelings onto corpses.
It smells metallic and I can’t love you: 
I manage multiple versions of this lie
because I always love you. 

Is it too early to wonder
about airplanes and trains and new lives?
I jump ship and impossibly, I survive

I return to our rickety sailboat
every two hours, always finding myself
again at the rail without thinking because my vessel has the logic of a nightmare

except only you remember dreams, 
and mine tend to be visionless

They leave behind only the dregs
of feelings and fear, decaying in the ancient peat, and smell earthy and warm
and I imagine that my feelings here must mirror yours elsewhere,
so that I feel less alone. 

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kswift, poetrySybil Journal