Charlotte Seley

From a supermarket

The supermarket of my desire    flush with citrus
perfectly aligned boxes & labels     as seen on TV
in my dream       my brother was counting apples
locally sourced from a nearby farm    it was New York
City     dim-lit and dirty    he made a friend
in fingerless gloves     your whole family was there
and I wanted you     but my brother was lost       
escalators so narrow    there is no currency   no tender   
when I am sleeping I'm more nervous   than when
I am awake    this may seem like exaggeration
but everything in relation to me     is far away
when I lived there    I shopped in bodegas   
pet their cats      ate egg sandwiches on kaiser rolls
for so many people     this place is lonely  
in my dreams it's a danger zone      I wonder why
ever again you leave me     thin-sliced   
where there's everything you've ever wanted
you need more     you need me in better quality
or quantity    when it's lacking you linger elsewhere
there's a Whole Foods on Union Square now   I don't
know if the Food Emporium is still there    but
in a dream I am every supermarket     large
and tidy    abundant with space    hexagonal display
delivered from forever    fresh baked bread
breathless symmetry     when I wake up I cry
then write from a Price Chopper    in suburbia
were you happier than you'd ever been       how
does the subconscious have its finger on an unspoken
pulse     shopping feels good     to actualize a loss
hemorrhaging money     when the body can't

The Triangle

My rivalrous desire is triangular, a litmus test
for lovers. Is it so wrong to hold onto throbbing
stings if they're the only crutch you have?
What's the alternative? I google her name
over and over and still don't know what I'm searching for.
I won't touch the broken mirrors you carry in your pockets.
Is that a heap of fractured glass in your pants or are you
always this austere? Don't deny me my affect,
my dallied dynamic. We're so obsessed with the wild
vines flashing ornamental berries across the wall
we forgot about the rot. There's no eternal summer
vaulted in this spoiled body. Everyone loves a good origin
story and I've spent this steel wool time unfolding
the origami of my unfortunate pleats, scorning
all fingers that made us into cranes likely never
taking flight. My flippant love is a frayed wire,
which is better than your duplicitous broken mirrors.
Last night I dreamt I collapsed in a field of wheat,
suffocated in gentle piles. The bed I slept in filled
with silverfish. I am a woman who cannot be saved
or rather I dream of regeneration constantly—the mirror,
magnification and the magic. I asked her in the dream
if wheat was flammable and we danced barefoot
on our carnage. My affect oscillates. I asked her
where she's from and she pointed at you and when
she asked me where I'm from, I pointed at the vine
on the wall. Look hard enough at anything
and you'll find what you desire.

Free to be without

I am rubbing against the day    with all
the answers    they are malleable    malevolent    
slippery sometimes   when I am sleeping
I am most myself    peace signs up    I am perpetually
out    I'm like so far gone before I arrive    first
to roll up my yoga mat   there is nothing   there is
nothing   there is emptiness and comfort in that      
but I am never comfortable    in fact    I suspect
I sleep with too many pillows    my sweater
is itchy   bombarded by inconsequential
grievances   nothing matters except that
we're warm and well-fed    or laughter
above all    or free to be   alive or alone
the silence finds me     like a scream
when you're scared and I can't have
all the answers     they change    if they don't
they're not the answers    what am I searching
for?    questions    the end of the question  
wheres reaching for whys   whos saying unplug
lose control    disconnect and disengage   
take care   stand up    you have the right to
remain silent     comfort in its own right is alive
I am churning with answers    that afford
more questions     questions are king   I ask
therefore I'm alive    therefore I can sleep
stowed away in dreams    free to be without
boundaries or boldness   it is so quiet in here now
it's OK to dip out    pull an Irish exit, as Christine says  
when you're alone you can assess the carnage
of yourself    cup silence in your hand like
a small child's cheek    as he looks to you  
for something     assess tenderly   there's nothing
to do      tendencies have nowhere to be
it's the only answer I need    a question splitting
and dividing into more    asking in silence
circling    an unnamable perimeter