February 6, 2018
What I Really Mean

Princess Leia’s dead—her body’s in my closet.
I’m positive I put down the funeral deposit.

Deposit doesn’t mean cash. I mean the layer of ash
Distributed equally on both my palms.

Palms doesn’t mean hands, it means leaves.
Blades of leaves. Rather, real blades of steel.

Steel that is soldered unbreakable. A union by fire
Can’t be faked—the crucifix baked in fire doesn’t break.

Time for a break: here’s a detached gas pedal.
Flower petals are foaming at my mouth—

That’s why these sounds are arousing. We say “rouse”
To refer to sleeping lovers.  Lover means fighter.

Blood-thirsty pacifists lying through their fangs.
Fangs, in Old Norse, means “something captured.”

Take the picture twice. That’s a recapture.
Experience it twice. That’s a waste of time.

Time—I mean, the number of lives I’ve wasted
Stopping at the red light. Quick: turn on a light.

I don’t mean the lamp. Look at the stars.
I’m consuming mango juice under Polaris.

Embarrassment: forgetting the answer to your own riddle.
Riddle? No—put the meaning in the middle.

Middle means center stage—that’s the mise en scène.
Everything that’s offscreen—that’s what I really mean.

About the Author

Mallory Hasty is from Chicago. She currently lives in Malaysia, and works as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.


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