At night, I dream of girls with 10 cent boots:
that carry the scent of hotel shampoo/
and boys who twirl flowers/between their fingers/
In the morning I wake:
to age old bones/muscle fibers that stretch/
like the strings on/the old Yamaha in my/living room/
as the notes dance/out of tune.
If I'm good:
swallow my pills/with just a tiny swish of water/
even though my body always/
seems to crave more.
And if it's good enough:
I can get out of bed/
without a feeling/
that everything is speeding/
to a metronome that I haven't set.
And I can ignore:
the subtle crackling in my lungs/
of missing air and the way/I feel like a bellows/
on a bagpipe.
I can ignore the press of bile just behind my throat:
the scissoring of my esophagus/
As the diet of a fastidious toddler’s/wildest dream slides down/
Ignore the way my tongue bristles/
at bright flavors.
A girl walks by:
with coffee bean eyes/and a ring in her nose/
and I feel my heart/heavy in my chest/
craving something new/exciting/
sweet like pomegranates.
But instead I know:
time wouldn't keep us/a warm hearth.
I go to sleep
and dream of girls
with 10 cent boots
BRIAR PRONSCHINSKE is a queer undergraduate English and environmental science double major at Indiana University-Bloomington. Briar is a serial pun-maker, wheat enthusiast, and vigilante hole digger who has on multiple occasions been described as fae adjacent. A recent Fibromyalgia diagnosis inspires much of their poetry. They have previously been published in the Lighter.