Poetry: Loose Joints

by: Melanie Sue 

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Tuck your knees into your chest
And make your body smaller than my heart.
Keep squeezing your shins in tighter
As if to show me how you can still fit there.

Of course you do.
That was never the problem.

I can still feel the stories you drew on my back while we slept–
Like phantoms, as disquieting as those looks you threw me,
As harsh and real to me as the letters you left.

I look for answers there,
For backdated translations of our conversations,
Hoping to find the proper piece of skin
I can lay my finger on and say, “It ended here.”

But I never find it
And I just keep retracing the fading plotlines
Until my fingers are calloused and
I’m butchering all your best quotations.

You pull your legs in closer
And I feel my own sternum snap.

Melanie Sue graduated from DePaul University with a degree in communication and media with minors in sociology and gender studies. Her biggest celebrity crushes are Edward Norton, Amanda Palmer, and the country of Iceland. In her spare time she likes taking photos, spending time with lovely people, playing with cats, collecting recipes, wearing dresses/neckties, and wishing she could play the banjo.

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