Two Poems

by Emily Symonds


What no one understands is you were supposed to die
seven years ago. You went into surgery and came back
not quite right. The pressure multiplies like fruit flies in a dirty,
too hot kitchen. You can’t even core an apple without slicing
your finger. You always insert your house key backwards first.
Your socks slip off, and your shoes slice into your feet.
Wastewater and evangelism bloat on your tongue. You smile too widely,
your eyes a little too big. What was once disarming is now loaded
and pointed at you. Each drive is your last one. Every shadow lunges.
Mountains are too close to the edge. What everyone thinks
is awkwardness, you know is just the scalpel slipping closer.

Corrections to the Published Text

The author wrote that the woman wore green.
I clearly remember the blue cashmere I had on that day.
I had worn a black skirt with a blue pinstripe and a coordinating sweater.
He said the blue matched my eyes.

The rain blocked the light, he wrote.
The sun had already set.

Our kiss at the door was as brief as the mist that preceded the rain (that wasn’t there).
Maybe this emphasizes his longing. Adds a Casablanca sacrifice to the story.
We both know, however, that we had sex on the sofa, and the condom broke.
The next morning I had to call the doctor when he had already left me for work.

She never loved me.
Check the source again.

She said, “awful.”
No, it was “fulfilled.”