Jane Fleming

[things I lost by “accident”]

You gave me the rings on my fingers and the
            Bells on my shoes
Just like the song says—
Just like the Grateful Dead
And I sold them for $150 
                        At Fred’s gold & pawn 
And I never got them back 
Because they smelled like you 
            And they felt like you 
And the turquoise wrapped in silver
                                    that you said was from 1962
that New Mexico silver that you promised 
turned my finger green
                        just like I thought it would do. 
And I ran through dust like an elephant 
            Rolling my trunk through piles 
                        just to rid myself of the scent of you
and your fake peyote obsession like 
            Val Kilmer with hair so wild and long 
            that you thought starved mountains sprouted 
            you from the ground your sun-bleached 
            callouses touched—
But it didn’t want you and your New York muck
            That turned silver green
                        Just like they said it would do. 
Because my name is not Janis and I don’t have scabs
            around my elbows like you
but my skin is bruised yellow alongside the green—
                                    healing wounds I’d forgotten about 
too long ago to count 
pink scars from running through the woods with bare feet 
            bare feet          bare because you liked me better
without protection 
                        with lips sewn up so I breathed through my nose 
but not too loud; not to wake you 
            not to wake you until I could finally poke my tongue through 
and tear apart the delicate threads and call myself a bitch 
                                    before you
could call me that too
                        and now the bruises are yellow alongside the green instead of blue
because they are healing without you.

Jane M. Fleming is a PhD student in the Department of English at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Ocotillo Worship which is forthcoming from Apep Publications. Her poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Drunk MonkeysBarren MagazinePussy Magic Magazine, and Pink Plastic House: A Tiny Journal, among others. Her poetry, prose, and collage portfolio can be found on her blog, lunaspeaksblog.com. Twitter: @queenjaneapx