Bonus Cut Poetry: “Don’t Mistake Me, Here” by Abby Conklin

This is the third installment of Bonus Cut Poetry, a new series that features original poems by Bonus Cut staff, artists and YOU! In this series, our mission is to bring people together in poetry, share stories and display wonderful artistic pieces. If you would like to have your poems in the next Bonus Cut Poetry installment, just email us at bonuscut@gmail.com

Our third installment features guest writer Abby Conklin.

Don’t Mistake Me, Here
By: Abby Conklin

Real poets write
about heartbreak.
I write about ice cream.

More specifically, I write
about ordering the second
round of ice cream, late last
winter, while snow furied
outside.  One round never
enough for you and I.

I write about
my bed.  About how,
when I turn out the light,
no arms wait to scoop
me into you.
About how, now,
I lay flat on my back,
because the New York
Times told me it was
a good thing to do.  Good
for living a long time.
Good for losing
weight.

I write about
the walls of my apartment.
About the imprints we left
in them- the empty fossils
of bones, skin, sharp
words, urgency.
The fan in my room,
making it too cold
for you.  The electric
blanket in yours, cooking
me like a late-night
egg.  About the first time
I noticed the way
my building’s front
door slammed, and realizing
from then on, I would
always listen for you.

I write about
the bad cherry wine.
About the potato
doubloons at the family
breakfast table on
a morning that changed
everything. The flowers sent
that ruined a day, their vase
spilling on my foot
as I cried on the phone.
The futile attempts
to “fix it.”  The world we
made, left to fracture
on repeat, leaving nothing
to save in its stupid,
stupid wake.  Save
for how we failed each
other.  Created
Ergo, you, and Ergo,
me.  Ergo absolutely
fucking
nothing.

Real poets write
about heartbreak.

But I am not a poet.

There is no strength,
here.  Only a coward,
trying to prove you didn’t
happen. I’m the chronic
patient, hooked on anesthetic
denial.  The child
who cannot sleep since
you left.  The hypocrite, refusing
to wake up.

But I am not a poet.

I have no holes. No
pieces, no nothing.
In this girl, who swore
she didn’t have one,
there’s no heart
left. So look somewhere
else, if you wanted a hero.
There’s only air,
now, inside this corpse.
Only strangulation.  Only
too much memory.

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