Poem: Alisha by Karla Lamb

Muffin Top Banana Bottom by Shoshanna Weinberger

Alisha
by Karla Lamb

I think I am leaving, no.
I think I am a heathen, no.
I think I am in the last stall of the truck stop bathroom.
I think I am breathing, no.
Reckless sometimes, I think I am too high
over this toilet. I think you are calling me
from the prickly dawn of the parking lot of the gas station or
no, this is a bathroom and bathrooms have that bleach and cigarette smell
stuck to the tiles, I’m going to hit the tiles and it’s going to hurt
like the cigarette burns that felt good branding each other’s arms
peeling the scabs, and I put my thumb
on your pulse and feel the grace tremor.
I think you don’t know me.
We argue Leonard Cohen lyrics on the highway
the windows shut, and the smoke broiling and the sun pouring across
the horizon like honey and I hurt again, all over
the tile floor. Slip off the seat, the stall door swings, belt cracks taut.
I am a gaudy chandelier, no, I am a slashed tire, no.
You are driving away, things are fading.
I am a thousand Christmas lights, no.
I think my sister is waiting.
I am the map.

 
Karla Lamb

Lamb earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from GVSU, where she served as a poetry copy-editor for Fishladder and a contributor for INwriting newsletter. Her poetry has appeared in Pittsburgh City Paper, Neon Lung and two issues of Runaway Hotel. Her poem “Dear Father” was recently anthologized in Voices from the Attic Volume XIX. She is currently enrolled in Carlow University’s Creative Writing MFA program. She curates DOUBLE MIR OR Exhibit, while attending workshops, readings and collaborating with other artists and writers in Pittsburgh.

Illustration: Muffin Top Banana Bottom
Shoshanna Weinberger, 2014.

Shoshanna Weinberger is a Jamaican-born artist living in New Jersey. Her gouache and mixed-media drawings are influenced by her Caribbean-American heritage, exploring the trope of the female muse in memory, history and popular culture. Her work has been featured in solo shows in New Jersey, Miami and Chicago, as well as in group exhibitions and public collections domestically and internationally, including the National Gallery of Jamaica and the First Biennale of Martinique.

This poem originally appeared in the Rejection issue. For more inspiring stories about dealing with rejection, check out From Tehran to Tehrangeles: Iranian Women’s Rejection of Body Hair and No Great Women Artists: A Lesson to Be Learned.

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