Carolyn DeCarlo

a poem about love

let it sit in the palm
of your hand, all
smooth skin
and crisp juice
running down your arm
if you broke it.
when you take a bite,
the stem scratches
your upper lip,
tickling the area
right below your nose
with the strange folds
you used to push together
with your fingers
as a child.
you have an impulse
to hold the stem
and twist the fruit,
reciting letters
from the alphabet
until the apple falls off.
then you would
grip that broken stem
between your fingers and
push it hard against
the skin, waiting
for it to cave.
on every tap, you’d
say a letter.
you want it to
keep going until you’ve
reached your lover’s initials
then stop.
you should have recorded
the ones you received
as a child. then, you’d know
fortune had led me to you.


a poem about hate

i want to press my fingers
into your eye sockets
as hard as i can right now.
i won’t stop until your eyeballs pop out.
i keep thinking that
in my head,
like a refrain.
i don’t know if it’s true.
today i found out
that my stress levels
are making my body shut down.
last night,
your stress levels
kept me up
sick with worry.
i read in bed
until 5 am,
hoping i would hear from you.
that left 2 hours for sleep.
i didn’t hear from you.
today i missed my appointment,
failed my blood pressure test.
i imagine you
you curled up in a ball
on a bed in christchurch,
avoiding the world.
somehow overnight, i’ve become
just another part of the world
for you to avoid.
when someone says my name
you’ll get this really pained
expression on your face
and shut your eyes,
saying nothing.


poems written by Carolyn DeCarlo