Mind Caviar Poetry

Julia Peters  is a nice girl from Brooklyn. Her fiction has been published in Clean Sheets, Vox, Playgirl and others, under her name and a few alter egos. She is pleased to have her first published poems appear in Mind Caviar.

E-mail Julia Peters.

Heal, Hurt

It was my birthday and I was lonely,
that cheap, selfish kind of loneliness
you carry around at a party, like your drink
in a real glass while everyone else uses plastic
cups. Youíre the host and itís your right,

despite all the love and liquor around you,
to hold your disappointment against your chest,
along with the perfume rising from your cleavage,
lipstick kisses on your collarbone. He might have seen
all of this, holding his own kind of flask despite
being a guest. He stayed after everyone had left,

and we began the deep sea dive of a hook-up
amid the smoke and whiskey in the floorboards
and our clothes, half-filled bottles scattered by the bed.
In a dive, you make sure youíre well-rigged, that you
can still breathe, that the oceanís surface is reasonable
enough to justify your entry, although the world beneath
is unpredictable, unforseeable, a crapshoot of manta rays

or coral reefs, a school of lemon and turquoise fish, unclassified,
a problem with your oxygen tank, a set of teeth buried
in your leg. I always thought the choices were beauty
or pain. Instead this is beauty and pain, stories and pain,
the whirlpool of kissing, the shock of skin after so much
cloth, sleeping through being touched and waking again
in the middle of it, wet desire and hard fear teasing you both.

These things lie in us all the time, a quiet ball
of knots, like when you lie in bed on Sunday morning
pretending you are still asleep. Hurt, warmth,
greedy lust and coming. They are in us all the time,
waiting to be unraveled, picked apart, with nails across your back,
with fingers coaxing the cells in your earlobe

to want as much as the cells between your legs,
palms that slap you back into your life, a gentle fist
that plugs up the hole in your heart as it slides inside you.
It all pours out through your skin, ending in bruises of happy proof
in the long, sweet night that has led
you to this empty, waking Sunday bed.

Copyright © 2002 Julia Peters. All rights reserved. Do not copy or post.

Men I Shouldn't Have Slept With

On a good day, half, on a bad day,
all. But mainly I know the mistakes,
the way someone entering therapy
thinks they know the mistakes, a neat
laundry list, the excitement of revealing
your errors, with no idea of how naked
youíll eventually be. The recent one who pushed
his way into my life like a Doberman trying
to get through a hatch cut in a porch door
for a smaller dog, sleek and insistent. A boy in high
school whose virginity I took, packed in my
duffel for college and never thought much of again,
like an unworn sweater or the photos that donít
get posted, although you want them with you
at the time. The two right after my marriage broke
up, one of whom still licks the edges of my social life,
embers that donít catch, all these years later.
Some days more. Some days different.
To say it, to a face, behind a back, implies
something in them, milk that had turned but I
drank it anyway--because of thirst? because I
couldnít tell from the taste?-- but it is something
in me, that wanted them, that would want them still.

Copyright © 2002 Julia Peters. All rights reserved. Do not copy or post.

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