Hi! My name's Maggie. I live in Hawaii. I like it.
Hanging High - Lykke Li
The gods were here first, and they’re bigger.
They always were, and always will be
living it up in their father’s mansion.
You only crawled from the drain
a few millenia ago,
after inventing legs for yourself
so you could stand, inventing fists
in order to raise them and curse the heavens.
Do the gods see us?
Will the waters be rising soon?
The waters will be rising soon.
Find someone or something to cling to.
All the kisses I’ve ever been given, today I feel them on my mouth. And my knees feel them, the reckless ones placed there through the holes in my jeans while I sat on a car hood or a broken sofa in somebody’s basement, stoned, the way I was in those day, still amazed that boys and even men would want to lower their beautiful heads like horses drinking from a river and taste me.
The back of my neck feels them, my hair swept aside to expose the nape, and my breasts tingle the way they did when my milk came in after the birth, when I was swollen, and sleepless, and my daughter fed and fed until I pried her from me and laid her in her crib. Even the chaste kisses that brushed my cheeks, the fatherly ones on my forehead, I feel them rising up from underneath the skin of the past, a delicate, roseate rash; and the ravishing ones, God, I think of them and the filaments in my brain start buzzing crazily and flare out.
Every kiss is here somewhere, all over me like a fine, shiny grit, like I’m a pale fish that’s been dipped in a thick swirl of raw egg and dragged through flour, slid down into a deep skillet, into burning. Today I know I’ve lost no one.
My loves are here: wrists, eyelids, damp toes, all scars, and my mouth pouring praises, still asking, saying kiss me; when I’m dead kiss this poem, it needs you to know it goes on, give it your lovely mouth, your living tongue.
When our breasts arrived
as a kind of currency, we’d tug
our camisoles low, use
our newfangled bodies to haggle
with the ice cream man. The winner
was the girl who received her chocolate cone
for free, who sucked on candy cigarettes
the same way she wore a training bra.
That summer my pockets grew forests
of hand-tied maraschino cherry stems:
tampered evidence that I might one day be worthy
of kissing. In exchange for rides
on the handlebars of their bikes,
we’d let the boys bite
the beads off our candy
necklaces until the chokers
resembled punched out teeth.
From their slobber, blue and violet
stained my throat where the sweetness
had once been, so I suppose,
Your Honor, I was preparing
To hell with the saints, with martyrs
of my childhood meant to instruct me
in the power of endurance and faith,
to hell with the next world and its pallid angels
swooning and sighing like Victorian girls.
I want this world. I want to walk into
the ocean and feel it trying to drag me along
like I’m nothing but a broken bit of scratched glass,
and I want to resist it.