Annaka Saari

Applications Welcome

All the girls said
I should kiss
the pretty tan boys
that smile big
and drink Burnett’s
but one of them
raped a friend of mine
and I’ve been
turned off ever since.
I like boys that look like
they’ve seen more years
and more drugs
than I’ve had the pleasure
of swallowing.
You know the ones:
boys that drink Remy
over ice in a stout
glass cup they keep
next to the Taco Bell
plastics inside their
shitty white cupboards.
I like boys with
long unwashed hair
and leather jackets
that smell like smoke
and the Michigan cold.
I like boys with sharp tongues
and short tempers,
boys that will return my jabs
and argue with me
when I decide that
our ship is sailing too smoothly
and I need a little fire
to keep my veins at 97.6
(my doctor doesn’t know
why I run cold
but I haven’t felt anything
in quite a few years so
I think my heart’s the problem).
I was raised in chaos
and nothing says “I love you”
like being pinned to a wall
with insults burrowing
into the blush of your cheeks.
I like boys who will catch
the spiders in tupperware
and let them outside
when they crawl
from my mouth.
I like boys who listen
to Zeppelin and John Denver
not because it’s cool
but because that’s
what dad played on the way to
the tall, brick church
on Wesley Street
while the sun painted the sky
scarlet and pink
and if you didn’t tell mama
he’d get you
a small, black coffee
from the smiling man
behind the counter
at Sunshine Express.
I like sly-smirked boys,
boys that will reduce me
to shreds with biology
and computer science
but let me tear them apart
with the creations of my tongue
and the words of Salinger
and Shakespeare
and the poets I find
in the annals of the internet;
we can use the bricks
we throw at each other
to build bridges
(or walls, if that’s
what you prefer).
I like boys who take up
a lot of space
with their bodies
or their laughs
because I emptied out
my organs quite recently
and it feels nice
to have a flower or two
to put in the vase
on my nightstand.
I like boys who know
how to be sad,
boys who let me rest
my head on their chest
when I’m dreaming
of bed-sheet nooses
and digging my own grave.
I’ll promise to eat
if you play me a song.
You know which one’s
my favorite, babe.


Annaka Saari is a 20 year old poet from Jackson, Michigan. Currently, she resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she studies English at the University of Michigan. When she's not writing, she can be found watching sad movies and tweeting at @AnnakaSaari.