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after Erika Meitner


A wedding. String lights in a barn. Rabbits holding flowers, a bull walking with the rings, one on each horn.

I ran away before the vows, found my old lovers in the attic and let them kiss me. 

Maybe this is a poem about things I’m not supposed to want.

Sometimes I take a picture of myself after coming out of the shower, but don’t send it, hide it in an album called “deleted.” Usually, I crop out my face.

There’s a bot on Twitter that posts Anne Carson quotes every two hours. In the time it takes me to draft this poem, I’ve seen five tweets. 

“The people we love are never just as we desire them.” (@carsonbot)

In the photos I want to send you, I’m looking at the camera. 


For virtual meetings now, I wear button-up tops, keep my pajama bottoms invisible. 

Sometimes I wake up early and forget where I am. Could be anywhere with anyone, a body untethered to time and space.

In another dream I fuck a girl I think about a lot and tell her dream-self it can mean whatever she wants it to mean. 

I’m not supposed to say this in a poem. 

I turn on notifications for the Anne Carson bot account. Every two hours, my phone vibrates, begging for interaction. 

    These are necessary intrusions. 

“When I desire you / a part of me / is gone.” (@carsonbot)

None of this is practical; anything can have its own use. I want to be useful or I want to be used. 


Sometimes I wish I could go back to the time before we knew too much about each other. I want to keep my secrets to myself.

“Love does not happen without loss of vital self.” (@carsonbot)

We talk about our love languages again. I still don’t understand the difference between acts of service and gift giving. I want to be touched by someone who is not myself. 

Do you ever think about the fact that if we keep this up, we’ll never have another first kiss?

Physical touch is one of the languages, you tell me. I’m not sure it's the one we speak to each other. 

         Sometimes I don’t want to think about our future. 

I want my photos to look effortless. I put on more makeup than usual, include my face in the frame. 

In video calls, I’m only really looking at myself.