Lotte Mitchell Reford

All our sexts as necessary fictions

There are tiny baby spiders in the corner of the ceiling.
You said once, and even in the moment this was too sweet
for either of us, I want us to fuck and leave marks,
so that we know when we’re apart that we are alive
and we were together and it was beautiful. I had written
something similar recently; Bite marks
as flowers, fading to brown. In the poem it meant connection
and memory, and for a moment a dirty text
can feel like all that and love even though
what really lives there is lust, hard in Helvetica
Neue, even cleaner than the original Helvetica,
an update for the iPhone 4 and every model
since. I might say I miss you next to me or,
I woke up and for a second,
I thought you were beside me,
but I never know if I believe what I am writing,
or if I believe anything I read. I don’t have the heart
to kill the baby spiders, but
I bought a venus fly trap and thought
maybe it would get confused and do it for me.
It’s hard to trust anything that strikes me as beautiful
or profound. Am I just admiring someone else’s way
with words? Am I jealous I didn’t come up with that line?
Am I just enjoying being wanted?
Either way I much prefer, I want to hold you down
and pull your hair, to the stuff about
being alive and it being good and blah blah.
Maybe this is because being alive
is mostly falling into potholes, though
don’t get me wrong, I like pizza
and sex, music, poems, fresh sheets, bodies of water,
a cigarette after a run, the smell of my dog, etc.
Once I fell into a pothole and found myself
in water up to my waist. I tell myself that fucking
is as beautiful and as boring as anything else,
but it’s hard to believe. I want to stay right here.
I don’t want to have a conversation. I don’t want to haul
myself out of oily water and walk home heavy.
I want to feel you getting hard against my ass as we spoon.
I want to feel you getting hard against my ass as we spoon.
I want to print out all our dirty texts and pry open my body
like a tin can, bend back my ribs, and stuff myself full
of them, even if my hands are sliced open. I want to paper my walls
with them. I tried to repot the venus flytrap. Give it room
to spread its roots and grow, but I think I overwatered it
and then it died, sunk into itself like it was in mourning.
I can’t throw the body away. The baby spiders are beginning
to migrate from the corner of the ceiling. You send me a picture,
and through the cracked screen of my phone
it doesn’t even look like any part of a person.


Lotte Mitchell Reford is a British poet currently living in Blacksburg, Virginia, where she is an MFA candidate in poetry at Virginia Tech. She previously worked as managing editor for Glasgow-based literary journal From Glasgow to Saturn, and as editorial and production manager for Luath Press, Edinburgh. She has had poetry, fiction and nonfiction published in, amongst other places, SPAM, The Moth, and Hobart. She has work upcoming in DUM DUM and Cosmonauts Avenue.

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