Four Poems

Laura Theobald


My heart was calling out to you but you were wearing headphones
It was like getting your period at a funeral
It was like being run over by a train-shaped cloud
What if I still felt like a person?
Then I would not feel like a not-person
Then my sense of worth would no longer depend on
How much you like me at any given moment
It would be like solving a long equation
It would be like watching my ancestor fall off a roof


Boy-child you drove tricycle over me while pulling my hair
It was thoughtful kind of
But I was afraid that you were going to get hurt
I am totally confused
I can’t wait to keep being exactly the same
It will be like having a circulatory system made out of lightening
And skin like a tomato
And sleeping on a trampoline every night


You are like a painting that has been painted over
With a less beautiful painting
I wanted to take you to an emergency shelter
I wanted to be at least as important as real estate
When I couldn’t fix anything I just burned it down
Then I was just like everybody else
Then I did nothing
Then I was like nobody at all
It was like putting a bandage on a corpse
It was really unoriginal
It was my responsibility to make people care
But all I could think about was a diamond the size of a fist


You cherished me like something that cannot yet be experienced online
I tried to stuff you entirely into my snatch like a stack of envelopes
I insisted on becoming very useless to myself
I built an island and watched you torch it
Like some kind of hideous adult
The only thing left is to never think of you again
Even as you are tossing me out of a boat
Sometimes you can know someone believes in you
When they are trying to kill you
In fact if I am not bludgeoned to death with a musical instrument
I will call you a pussy
If I am caught dead without gum in my hair
I will never say you are a true gangster
If you are looking for the bottom it is probably already in you

Laura Theobald is a PhD student in poetry and creative writing at UGA in Athens. She’s the author of Kokomo (Disorder, 2019) and What My Hair Says About You (Metatron, 2017), plus three chapbooks. She received an MFA from LSU, where she served as the editor of the New Delta Review, and works for small press publishers OOMPH! and BOAAT. Her poetry has appeared in jubilat, The Volta, Hobart, Peach Mag, The Atlas Review, Everyday Genius, and Black Warrior Review, among others, and in the anthology Women of Resistance.