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3 Poems

Juliana Ward

Beast of Burden


this spring

I’m not the same

the rose was red

when it died

it became purple

it brings me to tears

to find the time

for these vapid thots

plans always seem like such a good thing

until they happen

is that what marriage is

soaking your nails in acetone for 20 minutes

waiting for a gel manicure to dissolve

I wish someone would just tell me

it's not a secret

I need to change

nothing can make me wet

on shameless immodest nights of my life

my one lover lifts my ass to his mouth

I appreciate his strength

like I am the movable piece in the dark

is this how life will be forever

if we never move

never take another

palm into our own body

everything seems less logical

when you’re happy

it’s like I am just the song

all the way alive

monogamy you judgey bitch  

like love could be like fruit

only enough for one tree

love is a bottomless vessel

waiting to be eaten out of

love can be a visit

that disappears

like a cringe of light

just some sentimental pear

if I love more and more

I lose more and more

if I lose and love all my love

I become broke

in a scarcity which doesn’t actually kill

sexting is the gesture and the gesture is sex

all I think about is lovers
I put them on like lipstick
from Rabbit Moon to Jurassic Park 2
abundances can be so boring
like eating a newborn son
I’ve had to keep secrets and still do
beauty either happens or it doesn’t
the food rots before you walk out the door
I buy bread because I don’t cook
all desire is a sound you miss
a combination of you and me
where I treat you like a child 
when I tease my ass against you
at night when we are alone
that is when we forgive
like the dark side of the moon
learning to endear the other side
into one crack of light
one dolphin green dream
all it took was me getting what I wanted
to never want it again
I’m difficult
and my garnet ring is beautiful
but what difference does it make
if I only think about myself
at all times
69ing the past
all the occult shit got ruined for me
when Adriana died
she walked the Sienne
with her Maltese teacup named Cosette
I washed every color out of my hair
all I wanted was to be close to her
having a clean adult life
the kind where you put a mirror above the key bowl
to reflect the graveyard
in the room where I watched Clueless
five days from my next period
the gray icy rain
beats on the clothes lines
in Massachusetts
where I am never an intellect
and scared of how mean I am
who did they think they were dealing with
in my sleep
I’m like the hanged man
my legs becoming a four
I was raised to lower the music
first of all I was plain like a pencil
stoic in my label of a girl
right next to numbness
I don’t know where I find these
wild and tender women
who collect the owls
and become the dowry
for the pains of gods
who never text you
even though they can see you

bundled in my maidenly arms

I know you’re having fun out there tonight
picking flower heads one by one
between each pink rose
foaming at the nips
I love your sad home gym
and I’ll never ask you what you think of me
your best writing was your sexts
and I was still so underwhelmed
here on this mountain
with the peach trees
and my own wetness
ready for this bloodbag of a body to open
and whimper out my cum for life
like wanting to feel more attractive than you are
the truth is there are many perfect bodies
I never was abnormal enough to be sexy
but I was anyway
when we watched the clouds like a tv
reflecting our young faces
we would never keep them
like that day
you seemed good with dogs
what a turn on
in fact you loved dogs
painted dogs
dreamed of dogs
you licked the back of my head
my long hair like smoke inside you
I’m an English woman somewhere
in the summer
in my castle heroic bitches and me
tie each other into corsets and cake purple eyeshadow
and maybe you saw all the best bands in the late 90s
but I’m still alive now
I don’t care when that movie came out
I’ll see it when I’m 30!
and still take it into my body like soup
soupy cunt talk for you from me
cum grass green
put me against my jewelry collection
I’ll watch you fuck me in and out
let you skateboard me
your turtle vixen
your anime baby
your first girlfriend
and now a mere 1,000 years a later
I emerge from the steam bath
a spinster
looking in the mirror behooved by you
my skin red my hair wet
my ass
I forgot
how I wear mauve immaculately
how I take nothing this seriously
the dissonance of our charts
the parties that we missed
the fog in your voice
islands in the stream
that is what we are

Juliana Ward is a poet living in Northampton MA. Her chapbook Venus in November is forthcoming May 2019 from b l u s h.