Hannah Lejter “Infatuation=Alienation”


my body is here
but my soul is on a plane
out of here.
i look down at white sands
and imagine i’m flying
over clouds. i turn away
from the sun
so the wings of my arms
won’t burn.
the seatbelt sign is always on.
my lover wears no seatbelt.
he’s on no plane.
his soul is on earth, looking up
at me, mouth in a straight line,
resentful of my love affair
with waiting.
he says without me
his world would be a darker place
full of street signs, and with me
he doesn’t need street signs
because he is already
where he wants to be.
me, i’m never where i want to be.
we start having sex
and after three thrusts i say no, stop, no more.
i’m on a plane.
i’m focused on flying.
i don’t need any turbulence.
just get me a drink or twenty
to numb the waiting.
we lie in bed and his sheets are clouds
and his pillows are countries
visible from my plane window.
he asks what i’m thinking
and i say i’m thinking
of other lands, i say
i’m dreaming of not-here.
and he is quiet as the space
between earth and a plane,
millions of miles
of insurmountable distance.
i’m sorry.

bach in the summer

frogs croak
in a pond at midnight,
a cello concerto
presented for the ghosts
sitting in between stalks
of grass wet
from intermittent rain.
ghosts can’t cry,
can’t hold hands,
but they can still listen
to bach in the summer
and they can still look up at
their mother the moon.
sometimes the fountain
in the middle of the pond
sends jets of water
into the warm air,
a simple lullaby
that almost lulls
the ghosts into a sleep
that will never come.
they look, and listen, and wait
for something better,
clinging only to their souls.


i asked him not to leave
with the winter,
and he left.
still, on days like these,
when it’s late May and yet
there’s freezing rain
and frosty winds,
when summer seems months away
instead of weeks,
it’s easy to imagine
he never left.
where is the humidity that
dissipates desire?
where is the sun that
burns gaping holes in
the winter darkness of my dreams?
yes, it’s May, but
it may as well be November.
when the sun does come out,
it better burn a hole large enough
for me to escape through.


crows congregate in parking lots
because they think
these expanses of concerete
are the graves of the gods.
i would have liked to fuck you
in a cemetery, in a parking lot;
and i would have liked thirteen crows
to watch us and wonder
which one is killing the other
and why your blood comes white.

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