Sam Herschel Wein

The ikea bags remind me of my exes

I tell her, as I pull them from my trunk and carry, with tired arms, her dirty laundry
up to the house, two stories of winding stairs. I’m doing this thing where I name
the moments I’m reminded of the sadness welling in me from those I’ve recently
dated, but am no longer dating. “It’s a way of releasing the memory, letting it hover,
then replacing it with what I’m doing next, what we are doing together,” I tell her,
about the Ikea bags, the grapefruit box of Lacroix, the bubbler machine that makes
carbonated water right then and there, like magic. I say these things out loud with
the hope they don’t consume me, as they have the last few months, the overwhelming
grief that sets in with every small reminder, though I want to be over it, though I beg
and beg and beg to be, to have moved on, to not think about them as I do all the time,
of the certain roller coasters, of me northwest and smiling on the highway alone, a Friday
afternoon to see them, of the haircut place where he goes, too, and one day I assume
we’ll run into each other there, both seeing Will, the tattooed straight man with the
bulging dick, always feeling it on my arm when wish I could just think about peaches,
ripe and lush and fuzzy on my cheek, I want the joy, and I know it often comes with
sadness, too, I’m willing to do the work, I’ll name it out loud for as long as I have to,
my lips pursed in an ‘o’ shape like a funnel swirling mustard seeds, that special shape of
remembering, these tasty, minty-fruit teas, cat-shaped ice cream snacks made specially
off the tv, a butt plug they gave me that tastes like your ass after I fuck you with it

I went to pick up my collar at his house

me, the boy turned sex fiend turned gentle fairy,
out on Christmas eve in a pink, vegan collar, a red
lipstick dark as an unsalted wound, and a vibrant
red romper, in full Christmas cheer with my fat,
jewish calves, I danced in the night so late I thought
the sun peaking, playful, with distant clouds,
my back a full layer of sweat that my romper
clung to my shoulders in matrimony, I had thriving
ambitions of my hair tufted in clasping hands
all night long, I stomped with my feet so hard
the drag queens a prayer circle around our
unencumbered glee, me and the queers, home
with this night, with each other, our raptured
hands shake the disco lights aflame, so when
the older poet man came up to me as the
night ended, as my friends are leaving and
I’m calling a cab, he tugs at my scarf and
talks about my work and pulls me locked in
his arms as we unlock his door he keeps biting
my lip too hard kissing my neck too rough he
acts like we’re in some film noir nonsense
and nothing feels right, but I stayed through
a few hours of his joy, but I left and left
the vegan collar, see, he kept asking if we
could do this again and I have learned from
too many scrapes that it can be a wonder, that
I can make love with the fervor of rapidly growing
leaves on the banana tree, it can be vivacious
and exciting and safe, all at once, that after all
these years of ignoring how I felt and doing just
what everyone wanted me to do, I drove to his
house and picked up my collar without one single
kiss on his cheek, I said hey and no thanks and
I’m leaving and took the collar in my fingers,
the metal ring cold from his under-heated
apartment, the pink, shimmering, my index finger
and thumb feeling their awakening, my strength,
my open world, glimmer and glitter and night,
I felt ready to dance it all away, again


Sam Herschel Wein (he/they) lives in Chicago and specializes in perpetual
frolicking. Their second chapbook, *Gesundheit!*, a collaboration with Chen
Chen, is part of the 2019-2020 Glass Poetry Chapbook series. He co-runs the
journal *Underblong*. Recent work can be found in *The Indianapolis review*,
*Bat City Review*, and *Connotation Press*, among others. See who they’re
hugging at

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