"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


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


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 writing the apocalypse in real time in south Louisiana. She earned her BA in English and philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and her MFA in creative writing from LSU. She is the author of Giving Godhead (Delete, 2017), Dreamland Trash (Saint Julian, 2018), No Ledge Left to Love (Ping Pong, 2018), The Mother Wart (Vegetarian Alcoholic, 2019), Metamortuary (Nine Mile, 2020), Soft-Focus Slaughterhouse (11:11, 2021), and Hideous Compass (Underground Books, 2022). Find her at www.dylankrieger.com. Dylan recommends donating to the National Abortion Federation to preserve bodily autonomy and access to medical care for all human beings.


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