Couldn’t find you in the kitchen again. Couldn’t find you in my bowl of almonds. Not under the pillow or beneath floorboards. Not under the dry black blood scab. Not even behind my neck, where you always dented flower colors. Couldn’t find you in my palm of ladder fingers. Not under the blade of a butter knife. Couldn’t find you in my vomit, And no, you weren’t stained in the washcloths. Not in the burning coffee. Not in the period underwear. Not in the dried lavender. (Where did I put the scissors? Where is the shirt I love to sleep in?) Not in the clay pot of pennies. Not in my feet beneath the dunes. Not in the scrambled eggs. Couldn’t find you in my nails Or across my shoulders. And now, I take the wet rag and Wrap it around my neck, look: I’m holding it by both ends In the back. I’m Leaning so I really feel it, so it tries to choke Me, but it isn’t really, I Promise it’s just a game.
Flannery Maeve Rollins is a poet and student living in New Jersey. Her writing and research focuses on sexuality, adolescence, and the mode of confession. She is the recipient of the Edna N. Herzberg Prize in Poetry (2018) and the Evelyn Hamilton Award in Poetry (2018). Her work has previously appeared in The Louisville Review and The Lilith.