Parking Lot Politics
A heap of gulls moves as one,
shitting on the same car brings them closer together,
white peppered on the hood–
what do you call an offender before it hatches?
Move so quick like someone’s coming,
push past them and walk over them–
if they are waiting, they are already dead.
Some of the birds had blackberries–
violet splatters baked onto pearlized gunmetal,
they cackle and grin for they are nourished.
Do men go to night school for gaslighting?
Are there scholarships for sociopaths?
We are turning red on our lawns and our t-zones,
scorched warrants on our front doors,
What’s the statute of limitations for not testing a rape kit?
10 years paid leave and weekly handjobs?
Why is James Franco still working?
Instead of Yes, and are we saying Yes, but?
They don’t need a warrant,
so where can we go if we can’t go home?
Stand Under A Door Frame
big-handed man walks upstairs and needs no rail,
he recycles dishwashers and blows guys in parking lots,
he wears a chain around his neck and under his shirt–
he loves harmless secrets, he loves sleeping in and
getting fired, he loves trying again.
big-handed man rolls his own cigarettes, brown confetti
circles around protecting him from himself,
he gets tested– for the most part, when it counts,
when four-lettered panic starts at the bottom and walks you
into planned parenthood, but makes you foot the bill.
big-handed man has favorite shirts and favorite people,
he’ll take you to restaurants that don’t list prices
and get you the lobster because he just cares that much,
a whole shell packed with meat you have to work for,
immersion therapy for empathy.
big-handed man can do this thing with his lips
where he says your name and smiles
like everyone should know you are the martyr of the year,
there you two are– holding hands,
standing two inches apart– glossy cover and all.
you file your nails into the shape of almonds–
I am always needing more protein in my diet.
a man told you that he would make you a star,
get your song on radio and make people know
your name, in the same breath, he said his address.
good feels good until I am eating meat again
and replying to messages on tinder,
parasites always find their way in.
when he hangs out in malls, don’t trust him.
when he looks at you, don’t trust him.
when he offers you something, which he will, don’t trust him.
when he doesn’t ask your age, don’t trust him.
it’s as if men were expected to marry heart disease
not simply for salt and sugar and poison,
but because it’s tradition, all your fathers before you
married diseased hearts, attraction runs in the family.
what doesn’t kill you can make you stronger
if it isn’t still holding you down.
Hailey Knisley has been published in Luna Negra Magazin and Seafoam Mag. She lives in Akron, Ohio and is a graduate of Kent State University. In her free time, she enjoys sitting next to her dog and reading tarot.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.