I Repeat Greetings in All the Ways I Know Them,
Until I Get Them Right
In the aftermath, all lovers
have walked away
and I continue to live
next to them so as
to splinter my fingers against them,
to prod the injury, fix the injury—
I can’t explain it any more
than I can, can’t
navigate the metaphor.
I can say mother makes art
in the east, can name childhood
books, can fill my fears with old clothes,
but today is usually the day I want
to avoid. When I pass the mirror, I
find myself on the wrong side.
When I break you down, back into bicycles,
red trucks, it becomes impossible
to navigate a city full of both.
Bodies looking at bodies looking.
A wax city. If I knew
where you were, I could think of you
as separate from me and simply continue.
But you sometimes turn up at my elbow,
or at my knee, and my joints can’t keep up
with the constant folding away. I extend inward
out of politeness, swallow everything down
into my stomach. I dress myself up
and turn my head so you won’t see
through my eyelashes. In this way
I am behaving.
Ariana Turiansky received her B.A. in English from Shippensburg University and her M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She was a national recipient of a fellowship from the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets in 2013. Her work has appeared in Yes Poetry, Leveler, ILK Journal, and Likewise Folio. She currently lives and works as a writing consultant in sunny Las Vegas.