(wish I could have said something
the time
                         you always spent too much of our time on FIFA
          you slipped and broke your ankle in the kitchen
making blueberry oatmeal

                         wishing for the sea
to come for you when your nightmares
are the only thing you have left to compare
your suffering to
                                        made honey out of your last “You look beautiful tonight”
you gave me months ago, and put it on your burns
to remind you what love feels like but)

(what you remember          wanted to hear the buzzing
mosquitos making their graves in that bug-zapper
thinking they found heaven
                                                  thought I, too, found
it in your arms
                                        felt your pain when I walked
away from you and stepped onto the plane
words like “no” so deep inside me I thought they were bones
for a while and had no idea where to go digging
for them
                         learned how to wear regret on my breasts
like push-ups till they got sore and saggy
and you didn’t kiss them anymore
                                                  felt sorry
for the caterpillar when she locked herself up for months
because in the end she set herself
free         unrecognizable                    and oh, how I thought I)                    loved you.


Lauren McDaniel was raised in Houston, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree for Creative Writing at Stephen F. Austin State University. Lauren has had several publications in Stephen F. Austin’s University Literary Journal. She is currently earning an MFA in poetry at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.