"tree of after," "lawfully forgotten," and "date with dystopia"

tree of after

 

i still see the alternate universe
branching off in which she lives

 

on impact, i’m a different person
deserving to drink ant-filled water

 

please know under my tire you are
worth every word i can’t muster

 

every uncoupled body part strewn
across the street i can’t identify

 

what time my last memory registered
let’s just call it a nightmare and

 

fall asleep with all the lights on
our first fight and you don’t even

 

call me a murderer but you could
and i wouldn’t deny you the win

 

mark of cain staining every
unscarred segment of skin

 

will you visit me where i live
now in hell? from the stories

 

people tell you’d think there’d
at least be a dive bar downtown

 

where i could drink myself into
feeling fomo over my own funeral

 

but alas, the lonely leaves me
lawless enough to drag you down

 

with me, say, let’s walk along
the lake of fire hand in hand

 

at sunset tacky twinkle lights
remind us the stars’ combustion

 

doesn’t really go away every day
but eventually there is a tick tick

 

boom caused by no one
in particular and i will spend

 

the rest of this jetset suspension
wide awake in widow-making flames

 

deathly jealous of that empty space

 


 

lawfully forgotten

 

where is the marriage muzzle when you need it most?
coast to coast nihilist in search of midnight missives
gypsy rings carved out of tree bark, don’t be sorry
for never being what your mother wanted, the ospreys
are here now, the hard part is over, thrown bored-eyed
to the bridal party—it’s been seven itching years now
since i left someone at the altar, so karma’s calling
to make an offer: golf ball sized hail on your grand
mother’s veil or a shot of whiskey in your coffee
because jilting still reminds you of filet mignon ordered
by drive-thru, a disorientation of expectation waiting
like, is everyone else watching my life in widescreen
but me?
the short answer is no, they’re not watching
at all. only you care enough to stand naked among
unfinished flower arrangements, pulling out baby’s
breath because you promised no overlap between
this and that                                       soon-to-be stranger

 


 

date with dystopia

 

he picks me up
in sheet plastic

 

bouquet of broken
prophylactics

 

only one sense in which
the meal is happy and

 

it isn’t ever after
through plexiglass

 

my winston/D-503
tells me no matter

 

about the cancer
back alley mishaps

 

gone septic surrender
you have child bearing

 

hips of the mind
no surprise we hide

 

out high and drunk
lone non-activist pastime

 

late capitalist procrastinators
can manage without manically

 

checking work calendars
on apps first patented

 

for jacking it
i’m a 7 at best

 

but when hot wet and
trashed in handcuffs

 

back me up against
the brutes of the lineup

 

i want to be brainwashed
invasive interrogation

 

dirty enough coercion
allegations actually stick

 

you think i’m kidding
but watch me hit that

 

post-apocalyptic
poster child of delinquence 

 

when i lucid dream
you’re always in it

 

and i always win you
a blizzard on a string

 

and watch the world end
but just barely

 

like yes of course
what else is there?

 

what else could there be?

 

 

Dylan Krieger

Dylan Krieger is an automatic meaning generator in south Louisiana. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Louisiana State University, where she won the Robert Penn Warren Award and co-directed the annual Delta Mouth Literary Festival. Her debut poetry collection, Giving Godhead (Delete Press, 2017), was dubbed "the best collection of poetry to appear in English in 2017" by the New York Times Book Review. She is also the author of dreamland trash (Saint Julian Press, 2018) and No Ledge Left to Love (Ping Pong Free Press, 2018), which won the Henry Miller Memorial Library book contest in 2017. Find her at www.dylankrieger.com.

 

Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Monday, July 2, 2018 - 11:21