about the author

Louisa Casanave is openly a schizophrenic, Neo-pagan, bisexual and college drop-out. She lives in Brooklyn and is twenty-one. Most recently, she has been published by Breadcrumb Scabs and DOGZPLOT, among others. She also has an online poetry blog at louisapoetry.blogspot.com.

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From My Licked Lips to Your Furthest Microcosm

Louisa Casanave

What I’m saying is now a lie. This is for your benefit. If I told you the truth, you would get ravingly upset. By ravingly, I mean you would squeeze your knuckles white in both hands, pressing your eyes shut, precisely when you close your mouth and swallow. But you would try to remain collected, relaxed even; stolid at least and amused at best, as if to show me it would be silly to think of you as so...well, you know how you get.

But you wouldn’t blame me or even be resentful in your head. You would think it was your fault, and for a moment, you would be transfixed by shock and it would look like you were staring but would be just the opposite: ceasing to use your eyes at all.

Next, to try to wake yourself up, you would do something with your hands and also with your eyes—getting nervously self-aware that I’m seeing you like this. You would either touch an earring while looking upwards, or hook your thumbs in your pockets or belt-loops while looking down, or wipe your hands on your thighs, then on your hips, while looking at me.

I hope it’s the last one. Because then I would smile, and you would smile back before you could think about it, and, just as your teeth start to show, you would start to feel an inexplicable and non logical relief sweep you from behind, like all of a sudden your back was to a fireplace.

Then, you would ask me if I would like some coffee. You would be hesitant at first to move, as you are so comfortable. But as you would start to walk, you would find it rhythmic and momentous, and while you’re in the kitchen, you would wonder why you stopped jogging. How far could you get, and how fast before you would have to stop and stretch, doubled over, breathing hard and sweating?

The coffee would smell nutty and sweet when you open the canister and you would weave your fingers in and out of the river of steam projecting itself out of the kettle. Then I would step into the room and you would be able to feel the shift of weight on the floor. You would ask me if I want cream and I would say yes, and ask you “where is the sugar?”

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