Bedtime Stories

Aftermaths & Other Poems

A selection of unaffected disillusionments by poet Mira Gonzalez.

Mira Gonzalez

Aftermaths & Other Poems

two of the last five people here

i am imagining the sound of your voice

on the phone when you hate me more than you ever have

i am touching each of my ribs, which are visible now 

did i tell you that, i lost 15 pounds, do you like that

i am drunk and leaning against the hood of my car

i am thinking about that night when you

pushed all of your weight against me

and came out the other side as a small child

in our minds we created details, infinite in number 

i am having a feeling that is like a ton of liquid

rising upward through the top of my head

creating subtle pressure when you tell me

something about free will and loving another person

how it will be better next time, or something


a fence surrounding nothing in particular

a pathway leading to another pathway

i have never been more sorry

begin this way, with a thought:

'the earth was grey and sad that day' or,

'i am waiting for something important' then,

allow certain details to become morbid with time

a fence surrounding nothing in particular

a pathway leading to another pathway

watch your fingers extend from the

bottom of your sleeve to the edge

of your lips and back down again

you were capable of something then, and maybe

you did love me or you do love me,

but my eardrum is still simplifying air pressure waves

knowing that it will never see light or feel anything

besides complex vibrations coming from

your mouth and your throat when you say

that you feel like the first week of december 

because i am holding someone else's hand in a closet

because you hugged me for 4 seconds too long

because i know the feeling of leaving or arriving or coming back

the feeling of loving you during 2 snow storms

and wanting to touch everything in the world at once


i am afraid someone might know me

the universe is a living creature whose behavior is ordered for the worst

in the beginning you experience one to several

nonspecific ideas about distance or sadness

you become aware of sounds and textures

existing independently of human experience

you have sex with him in the living room

and listen to a commercial on the television

he is looking upward at the ceiling now

you think he has found something worth looking at

he stands up, he doesn't touch you

he gets dressed in silence and leaves the room

you find him on the balcony smoking a cigarette

he drinks cough syrup from a bottle with no label

you run your index finger along the edge of something

you touch a glass, then touch your mouth

you touch each of your ribs, individually

he says something indiscernible and

you say 'i dont know what you are talking about'

you think about leaving, or sleeping on the floor

he hands you the cough syrup and walks back inside

you pour some cough syrup over the edge of the balcony

an orange puddle forms on the sidewalk


you are somehow in the aftermath of events that haven't happened yet

he says 'you look sad'

you say 'i am just very high right now'

you turn away from the gently glowing monitor

it burns your eyes a little, all the time


you wish you could explain to him

that you are not a person who is entitled things

that negative feelings are sometimes desirable


our void has been obstructed, temporarily

there is no fast or slow, only linear, forward

we are still there sometimes, we both know this


you wish he would stand next to you, silently

you wish that he would only touch you sometimes


we will perceive things as beautiful

directly proportional to their tendency

to move quickly in the opposite direction


i am afraid someone might know me


we keep crossing these same squares of cement

for nine minutes we do this

and experience the rest of everything else 


Illustrations by Maija Elizabeth Ekey

Mira Gonzalez is the author of I will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together. She lives in Los Angeles.


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