by Bryanna Licciardi
Bryanna Licciardi has received her MFA in poetry and is currently pursuing a PhD in Literacy Studies. Her work appears in such journals as Poetry Quarterly, BlazeVOX, Poetry Quarterly, Dos Passos, Adirondack Review and Cleaver Magazine. Please visit to learn more.
I want to give something that hurts,
like Gandhi, or Buddha,
or Mayor Bloomberg.
I want to pretend I've been
lost in the woods. I want people
to believe the bear attacks I survived
and the trees that I felled. I want to order
for the man waiting next to me
in line at Starbucks, who is helplessly
reading and rereading the menu,
as if he's never heard of Mocha Frappuccinos
or Ancient Grain Flatbreads.
I want to move to Lake Charles, Louisiana,
the kind of place where people take notice
of new neighbors but are apprehensive
to greet them. I want to clip your weight.
You’re always hovering above me,
tethered with the words I never say,
anger I thought I’d let pass.
I want to take scissors to us
and watch you drift away.
I want to never drink again.
I want thirst to be a waste of time.
I want to figure out if my apartment building
has an office. I want to see if it contains happiness.
I want my body to grow like a river,
narrow, then wide, then endlessly.