He Lets You Get Dressed & Then Gives You a Xanax
you’re hurt but he’s crying calling you
by the avenue he who hurt
you & you’re touched by
a bedroom two blocks away
like a shrimp you curled into yourself
breath broken from brain the pounding
outside: night smattered by starlessness
space unloading its black
onto your back, shoulders
you knew this feeling, but not fetal
birth in the bedroom tide of chorus of mountain of no
slapped in the throat
flap of wait
flap of please
flap of no
your knees gone numb
by ½ of a ½ of a Xanax
he pushed into your palm like a prayer
at your terror fear
of your fear
he hands you salvation
suck it down stuff your shoes on
coarse night hacks at eyes shedding their whites
skin bag, you slut
to the subway sulk in tunnel
rats trap broken bottle necks
get trampled by the train
thrust into thoughtless tracks
your hands join knees, go numb
outside me, around me
Previously published in Ordering Coffee in Tel Aviv by Caitlin Wolper, Finishing Line Press
your stretched narrow your body,
didn’t curl into mine.
night of the stars. driving to stars
in the backseat, i watched the back
of your neck. you & the guys spoke
outside me, around me, ahead…
chocolate your mother
bought you/you “bought” me.
wine cracked into my lipstick,
a second smile.
your sometimes smile
like a punctured balloon.
even narrow arms could’ve held me;
but your muscles, slack.
boy: long & empty as a whistle
Caitlin Wolper is a Brooklyn-based poet whose first chapbook, Ordering Coffee in Tel Aviv, was published in October by Finishing Line Press. Her work has previously appeared in Longleaf Review, Ghost City Review, Hooligan, Yes Poetry, and the Voices Israel Anthology, and she’s been nominated for Sundress Publications’ 2018 Best of the Net anthology. Also a writer, editor, and copy editor, Caitlin has worked for Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and New York Family. She received a BA/MA in English from Penn State.