Laura Theobald is a poet currently living in New Orleans. Her full length poetry collection is “What My Hair Says About You” from the Montreal-based small press publisher Metatron (2016). Her chapbooks are “Edna Poems” (Lame House, 2016), “The Best Thing Ever” (Boost House, 2015), and “eraser poems” (H-NGM-N, 2014). She completed her MFA in poetry from LSU in 2016, and has served as an editor and book designer for a number of small press publishers. She is currently a book designer for BOAAT and a freelance book designer. Her recent poems have appeared in Sink Review, Hobart, Pinwheel, Witch Craft Magazine, The Atlas Review, Everyday Genius, and the Black Warrior Review among others.
The shape birds make is
undefined. It twirls at the bottom
but is held in place by two gray
dots with little polyps around
the edges. You think I don’t love
you. You are sometimes not very
smart. You are in the biggest state.
You can see it from space. My
state is undefined. When you’re
crying your eyes turn pink like
a hurt little piglet’s.
The dogs of my heart ran after you
but now they just run. And then these
two black duds rising into the air
like a pair of hands. I have my
grandmother’s skin. She sits with me
at night. I don’t remember what she
says but her presence is comforting
when I am saying my alphabet.
I prefer watching you sink my father’s
boat and letting wet chunks of oatmeal
slide down my chin because it pleases me.
I realize I’m circulating you to death.
In the libraries. My shoes don’t match.
I’m sitting in front of a sunset feeling
angry. Holding onto it until someone
asks me so I can say “Yes.”
I’m at the age she was when she had me
and when someone loved me for the first time.
I was pushing my body up against your body.
Everything was always happening to you.
Even when I was walking. Even when I was
talking to a ghost. Your astonishment.
Your concern. There’s so much you don’t know.
Why I was always sad. “Mom mom mom
mom mom,” a girl is saying into her phone.
It’s like a little song.
I don’t want to go through this
every time you’re behind something.
I bring a boy home and feel
embarrassed when the lights don’t
work. I watch him saw a pill in half
in the palm of his hand and I swear
to god I’m falling in love.