Trilobite is an arthropodologist's delight:
many bizarre creatures; no two alike.

from Isotope

Alice Ladrick

Let me start over, Sylvia,

a woman I knew once

pushed me with my own hands,

the force in proportion to the smallness

of my palms. Psychics scare me just because

thinking I know what they will tell me isn’t

what makes it real. They could

and I assume there’s more than one at the time

but the news wouldn’t be good, you know?

Constant inflammations keep me on

not the edge of my seat or something rather

near tears but on it no less perched for hurting.

That sounded like hunting, didn’t it?

I leveled my aim months before you.

Place mats in back of hair seemed

the directive while a wriggle is an indicator that some

things happen when you push a button even

if it’s just a sound of the placebo.

I say a lot of things with my mouth, man

some bougie shit comes out like raps when I’m home

alone. I made a playlist of every song in my library

that uses the word lonely. But the bourgeois

loneliness, that’s just for poors in denial. Nobody wanted to

marry me again today. I won’t keep you waiting long,

my love. I’ll hang all your

pictures in the hall so I can knock them down.

The real shame here is that Shamu is a girl

in a tank top performing masculinity just

like me and my undercut desires. Crafts,

another way of saying to the world “I don’t have

enough to do without this scrapbook” and memories

and table scraps. Bougie girl won’t eat

off the floor on her hands and knees even

though the five-second rule is bullshit

too I’ll call your name and request my final

meal. Just wieners.

Sometimes the endings are more like jokes to these

but who knows about my audience. I guess it’s you

guys looking at me. How’s my hair? I tried to do it

so it’d be suitable for the chair. Now I’m proving I can

rhyme poetics and junk it up with some clunkers

here and there. Down the rabbit

hole. Swallow a whole

bottle of pills one day at a time. Measure’s

inaccurate in a curate position. I guess you see

what I did there. It was a pretty slick move.

Last December it took too long and I was

lonely. A little bit broke and I started

ending things with verbs. Vocables,

electrocutions and elocutions. Really

he had no idea I meant my hands when I said they

pushed me out of bed. My own want me

away from the place of consenting sometimes

I think again maybe I’d rather be chaired.

When I wrote this I had diarrhea

not of the brain but the real kind that comes out

your anus. I’m really slowing down on these.

This afternoon I went by the place

I’d dropped him

off and hoped it wouldn’t make anyone else

as sad as I remembered being. That was it.

Trying to speak French turned inside

out. Out out damn spot. Parting is such

sweet sorrow. What a fucking lie,

right? I’m looking for some approbation here

it’s okay for you to respond but please

only positive words welcome

because I’m sensitive.

Not liking the kitchen isn’t a reason to leave

or not do the dishes. Living in

in in in. fuck in. fuck me in at night. What

am I coming to?

Everybody’s moving in with their boyfriend and I

decided to get a tattoo: “ME”

all caps on my ring finger,

call my artist my jeweler

when I go in for touchups. Get it

sized up (cuz I’ll gain weight). I’m watching

my figure. The way I figure it

I’ll be that sprinter-poet. Shit.

Spinster poet. Write it all at once

like once is a place you’ve been and can

go back to it.

My boyfriend dumped me on

my birthday. I’m not bitter

but I am a liar.

Never going back there

(lie) where boys are

appealing. Fights with myself

always end in sex.