WRITING

THERESA

look at me
stop
look at me
stop
look at me
ok come over
or i will 
ok i will
i'm coming over now
oh hi
...
i just wanted to say
i just wanted
i just
it is really hard to balance things 
over here 
and 
over there
i thought it was easier
i thought it would be easier
i thought it would get easier
when when was when
i just thought
you know
i think all the sides are just too heavy though
soooooo
i think i will chill
chill and chill and chill
like a new cycle to get trapped in
a chill little prison
it will change my shape
at least a little
and then i can try again
maybe
it is all in the details
and i don't know what the details are
yet
so pause
look at me
i am here

SARA JOY

One Kiss

collaboration, april 2020



dangle, 

sway in the sideyard 

here: smiles for the bored neighbor

and last week’s self

that figured life –would be some way

else by now—snap—

 into sun-catching focus moment

by moment by the time


it’s over :: smoke lifting from every fire

escape in Brooklyn. warmth only builds,

rises up // shimmy down light

on a loop // the moods and movements

:: repeat ::

:recapture: recommit to step—


stop. take one, long, uninterrupted sip; break

focus. the light is, always

new and no one ever

moved quite like 

this moment does

the bricks back drop

pandemic pop and pent up

patio furniture, damn. 


there is so much

we’d like to touch when

summer comes, and the bulbs strobe

like you again

and again. 

BETSY

DESSERT SONG


In learning to fly, you may somersault 

among sorbet-tinted clouds – mint, lime, 


mango, peach, grapefruit, watermelon, 

blueberry, raspberry – but first, you must 


master the art of flapping, which is all  

in the wrist, that subtle sly arc of tendon 


dipping muscle over carpals. To kiss 

a sky, befriend the body. Its softenings. 


Its sillinesses. How it burbles and flops

and jigs, again and again, inimitable,


uncontainable, until every cell hums 

and all boundaries dissolve, until – light 


as spun sugar, sweet like maraschino – 

the you inside each concedes it delicious.

LIANA

Nothing, or Rebirth 

by Liana DeMasi 


I am writing the grocery list

Like poetry. 


There is no time anymore. 


I want to unzip my skin, shed, step out into the center of the room, open the windows and beg in earnest. For the sun. The stars. For anything other than copper on my tongue. 


I sometimes confuse afterbirth and rebirth. But it is only the latter I am after. 


I want to be touched in a way that results in crumbled paper on the floor. Indescribably, but not with a lack of trying. 


Children will be forced to read history books upside down, backwards. In this, they will hope for answers. 


If I become a snake to shed my skin, then perhaps I will be reborn. Yet my allegiances are not with the connotation of a snake. I do not want my character confused. 


I have taken up running with the hopes that the next outdoor adventure will result in wings. But I do not want to be a bird. 


The days in which I feel remarkably ordinary are of most importance. I once sat on the edge of the Grand Canyon and told the space next to me that I was insignificant. It was liberating. To be nothing. 

KATIE

Look, I have an arrhythmic heart-
song and do you want to hear it or not?
Its’ melody middles somewhere between tear (verb) 
and tear (noun), as in, yes, behind these mirrored 
sunglasses there exists one, OK fine, now two — 
and TEAR, like the t-shirt, the bramble thorns, the way 
a bat can cleave the air of the nightfield. I can hear them 
both down in the renovated basement, seesawing across 
the thin ditch that separates the holding of oneself 
from the dislocation 
of one's shoulder. Like, who was I to take this blanked
page pressed from the fascia of an old birch, marr it
with a song I can barely hum along with and not expect 
to be slapped? But then who was I to 
be without it? The song, I mean, and the slap, the rippling 
silence that followed.

SASHA

ODE TO THE GREEN LIGHT THAT COMES THROUGH MY WINDOW EVERY AFTERNOON


The green light comes through the window.
I unpeel the banana. Life is a seesaw. I want to be touched.
To be picked up and placed gently down into August.
Instead, the slow rocking of another hour.
Instead, I peel off the doll and take care of it.
Voices turning in my hands. Lean in.
Prune the greening of days accounting.

I squat to hug the potted plants. 

I feel another version of myself
pushing me on this swing.

The night disappears from my palm. Lean out. 

I let loneliness sit in my lap. I wake
to the tick-tocked refrain of I am here, I am here.

©2020 by What is Love?. Proudly created with Wix.com *special thanks to Ashley Sears & Chris Sullivan