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"home two (Frank Ocean blue)" by Mary Petralia



look at you

afraid of a Plant City sangria

you silly barrier island you

don’t tell me what to do

who do you think you are

secret kudzu cypress

secret twilight hour

if all the best writers

jumped off a drawbridge

would you do it too

don’t you tell me how to

I mean I’ve been saying all along

it isn’t me who doesn’t believe in me

it’s you I know I can do it

I hear you crying in the background

sometimes things take longer

sometimes years

I’m waiting in a literal cow pasture

there are literal eels in a bathtub

what’s the takeaway here

I’m waiting

I’m outsiding

I’m dodging

I’m picture perfect

I’ve been away a long time

don’t worry I haven’t forgotten

have you ever felt nothing

I mean as if you are nothing

did you hear it in the wind

the word of the year

just wondering

if only I could find that second twin

universe that runs backward in time

to mirror this the right way

this isn’t journal scholarship

though it should be

subjunctive clause causality

because head full of jelly beans

gets you nowhere lil miss

peer review this

table setting says a lot about you

when you vacuum I think it’s music

wouldn’t you love to listen to a song

without a memory

to stroke hair

to give sips of water

it takes seven years

to overcome something bad

to infinitively

adverbially

feel powerless

you of lore

you of cozy

you of linger

don’t you make me

make that sound

if you say disgusting things

you will get throat cancer

you will never leave gator lake

some of us do it for the money

some of us do it because if we don’t we’ll die

thank god for Sinéad

thank god the opposite

of patriarchy is fraternity

not matriarchy there be

some low vibration bitches out here

sometimes things get ugly

some times are ugly

this look you’re seeing is for a girl

who does porn in the Valley to fund

her dental school passion

she needs something to wear

to smoke something blue

with Frank Ocean

I just want to drink cherry cola

at the Vero Beach Holiday Inn

I just want a portable staircase

with a tiny door underneath

of storm bringer you

of beautiful and annoying

of that guy in Peach Pit

unbothered and moisturized

so what if I don’t take pictures

I just want a normal conversation

is everything okay

is everything okay

is everything okay

are you doing things

are you blackberrying

are you forgiving

are you feeling

are you judging

are you reading

review: judgment used to be spelled with an e

ask Flannery at least

that’s how the South spelled it

in pastimes

I powered through 192

voids fuller than all fullness

appearing by my absence

I was pre-you before you and you and you

I go to the movies alone

sit in the same row

as a safe older couple

though I possess the toolkit

to transform into a venomous creature

it’s not likely to happen

kill mosquitoes

with my hands

feel no grief

I cut my teeth on saw palmetto

no this is not confessional

no this isn’t about you

thank god I love it when you’re gone

thank god you lost so much when you lost me

the amoeba of our warm water century

I don’t find it hard to be myself

but find it hard to let myself be

my deadline is the last awful poem

my deadline is when you go

my deadline is when it comes out

you dim sum expert

you expert beef Wellington

you obscure Korean noodles cooked by Greg your husband

fuck me (he did) gently with a chainsaw

don’t circular nature

don’t you once again

don’t you dare

don’t you




A word from the author: The piece is about what the idea of home is (literally, spiritually, emotionally, aurally). This idea of home includes the idea of writing, because to this narrator, writing is also "home."


Mary Petralia earned her MFA from the University of Central Florida. Her poems have appeared in Shooter Literary Magazine, Sein und Werden, Gone Lawn, Bridge Eight, Eyedrum Periodically, and other publications. She is based in Florida, where she is working on her first small collection.

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