Prosperity and other poems by Anna Keeler
Second wave feminism and a
Too forward to
Keep buried in your pants.
You learn what it’s like to have
To have an existential crisis
With a construction paper cross
Stapled to the discs on you back.
And your words and bruises
Wear the pride of a statement
But are the delaptiated
Apropos of nothing.
Contouring your backbone
Across a turntable
You project an image of
Appropriating the culture of struggle,
You give your spoiled eyes to strangers
And let your body
Mangle to synthetic house music:
Defeated and glitter lipped,
You pull the hunks of metal
From your trapezius.
All for show,
But at least you have the privilege
Of being a side-show luxury.
She makes you reconstruct the building she broke
With the cracked ribs of a milk-dried tree
And cries when it isn’t constructed
To hold her ponderous standards.
So you pry the life and the air
Into a sustainable and responsible romance
And serve it to her with a glass
With a mouthful of spite and raindust,
You ask if this is healthy? Or enough?
Yes, no, maybe so?
The screens are broken, babybaby please come fix them.
You patiently wait while
She plays games with the drywall
And waits for intramural miracles
From the pockets of clouds
Too stubborn to peek in the window.
Her teeth click as she says ‘thank you’
And clenches her own chest tighter.
She won’t hug you back.
But at least the building is clean.
She folds herself into a dust crafted bottle
And cries when she tears the building down again
And its delusional structure
Wants your pale flavored bones to break
Down for unrequited voices
And an unhealthy mind.
And you are not sustainable.
The screen’s still broken.
I’m on my way.
Sharpening katanas into my hands,
I climb over the spine of a warped cyclone–
Becoming clawed and fanged and a category to
Be reckoned with
I’ll be immortalized in chrome
Or maybe the eleven o’clock news.
This is the life of a hallucinogenic prodigy:
To be the model for carving storm eyes into my chest
So it’s easier for serotonin to lay her head there.
To personify stupidity until it’s a monicker
And paint the lips of mistakes and make them rehearse the phrase
“It’s my choice.”
Because it was never my choice? Was it?
To do this stupid shit?
Because lunacy was the only skill set I’ve been alloted.
I twist my body until it fits in a tornado
That can’t count or read or interact,
But twists the skies into pretty gray curls
On her head.
But now I’m older.
And I’m not ludicrous; I’m destructive,
And it doesn’t matter whether I meant it or not.
Tornados and floods; my emotional state.
Reel me in before I do something stupid.
Pixie Star Sticks
Don’t push in they chairs
And leave the numbers of
Every Usra that had the audacity
To call them baby.
And the floors are a
Necropolis of receipts
Whose mothers never taught them
To tip their waitress.
And there is no advantage
To being a concept in space
Except watching the sunsets on Jupiter;
They’re closer to sugilite than carnelian
And they have nothing ethereal to stand on
Except the eyelids that swallow
Light each time they blink.
And you be guarded
And fuck faced
From staring down the bottoms
And inhaling the hard hydrogen
No one else could bear to finish.
You stay high on celestides and planets
Because you’re too broke for crack.
Want a tip? Here’s a tip.
Be a supernova;
Then maybe you can float away.
About the author:
Anna Keeler is a poet and fiction writer living in Winter Park, FL. She is the assistant editor for The Chaotic Review, and was the 2016 recipient of the Arden Goettling Academy of American Poets Prize. Her work has been published or is upcoming on Poets.org, Cleaver Magazine, The Writing Disorder, Sick Lit Magazine, The Yellow Chair Review, Peacock Journal, and more.