Learning Distance

eva Stulberg

photos by kenza Vandenbroeck

 

*DOYTIS

 

She said that she might want to start being more self-assured.

 

The body is not real language is real.

 

*Do you think I'm sexy?

 

 

In a basement on a Tuesday in July

 

M's and M's and M's and M is too many consonants. and vibrator eyes - not the sexy kind. almost frothy mouths tell the white walls nice wallpaper. a Jaguar charges me. me standing in the middle. me dancing alone. me feeling too good. before the panther attacks he stops and turns on the light. he's still wild

but just a boy now. it's his chest that vibrates. we place two fingers on our necks. still breathing. his high. mine. too much. late

                           he climbs the wall                              and

                           forgets his name

Now say it three times fast!

 

aunty said ex-husbands name in bed

aunty became lebavitch to rebel

aunty drives me to Winnipeg to see a boy I like

 

I’ve sworn off Hebrew until I learn the whole alphabet

I’ve sworn off valentine’s day until Zaidie says I can throw a party

I’ve sworn off partying until Bubby kisses Zaidie again

 

boys are addicting but so are dollar stores

boys can be a brother that locks you out of the house all night

boys can be an uncle that doesn’t recognize you after you grow your hair long

 

maybe dinner parties stopped being about kids' grades

maybe cousin doesn’t need to add more smoke smell to the car

maybe reciting the alphabet will make god think I’m praying

 

one time I kissed a boy and then he moved to California

one time I loved a boy and then he moved to England

one time I stayed in bed because I didn’t want to hear the bad news yet

 

death is mama crying on the couch during a garage sale

death can happen in the middle of the night so it’s best to sleep in

death makes momma scream in the shower because water hides noise

 

beds are for the shma but aleph doesn’t come after a bet

beds are creepy if they belong to someone you hate

beds don't make a home won't bring you back home

 

 My Brother Called Me Crying

 

And sang me a song called underwater living room I told him that Siri writes my poems now he was listening for human I gave him silences I saw a woman in a toque with a cloth shopping bag for groceries and she drove a Subaru I saw mom in her and breathing from the saddest part of my belly say everything is more dramatic in this shirt and rolls hang over my jeans so a couple wears matching shoes and boy ties a shoe that's not his they have British flags on the sole you can't see them from your bachelor tiles in London as I sit on the saddest part of the bed is it a sign call first round of friends is it a sign when I walk to buy a mug for my roommate the phone and brother drop between the crack between the wall and the bed pick up pieces you find in the cloth of a tea cup that relates to the time a friend told you they  wrote a story but the story was really a detective novel about where to find love and the love is not found at the end so it's bad but water sprints away from me in the dream I had that made me cry when I woke because I was pressed against the bed and your finger pressed the sad part of my chest until it stung like not being able to feel stuff much anymore so mourning sickness hit him first in the backseat of Zaidie's car driving to his shiva the smoke smell never left

 

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