Ultraviolet

a poem happens to me like a flower happens to a bee

I’m so moonish & annoying!    I do not sleep    I spread

*

it’s like everyone woke up one day & forgot

that I invented language!    it was mine

& it was a wild thing    I wore

like fire wears a tree

*

my pain craves affection

the neverending me-ness of the world!    

*

sometimes I read a poem I want to fuck

then let the poem read me

*

I am tired of the boredom    the agony

in all the little moments I am not

absorbing    every time I meet a poem

I feed it    hexagons & horseshoe nails    tonsil stones

& diamonds    I can’t always tell the difference

between desire & disaster

*

I made love

a tractor beam

I made death

a crop

circle I took

the day off

to shovel snow

in my bikini

*

most advice about living isn’t for me

I make a lot    of rubble & a lot    of poems

there isn’t enough    to go around

*

if I am bored    why shouldn’t I jump    to the moon or over a sky

scraper    in my antique high heels?    why shouldn’t I

write a poem    that reaches up my skirt?

*

poets are so tragic with their secret handshakes & invisible dog

leashes    I only want visible dogs!    I want a double jointedness

I will only die on purpose!    if you want me to stay alive

you have to let me marry a poem

*

I am addicted to the ghosts    of my other lives swirling    my tongue

in ludic loops around the tongues    of yellow daffodils

these public displays of affection    dig their knuckles into my eyes

*

I know what the voice of the universe sounds like

so I write a poem to warn you

can’t you see?

I am saying something important!

*

I get so dramatic when we talk about animals!

the cold nose of a poem makes me forget

to slice myself in half hot dog style

& let all the ketchup escape    my imagination

is as real as my fists    I crack my knuckles

while I astral project    my fingers glow like toxic waste

*

I want to be a poem’s girlfriend or wife

or mistress or houseplant

I want a poem to weep into

my largest leaf

& get me all wet

*

a poem taunts me to try it

*

I am cooperating!

I want to write poems that make good sense!

no I have not made any plans

*

I dug into myself with a pocket knife

all that came out was more poems

*

I have never been lonely

so many different lives in me

I leave pink lip prints

on the quaking aspens

disease in every one

*

I am too full    ballooned like a light bulb

flickering between the same old humiliations

car trunk    full of lake water    mouth    full of easter grass

head full of poems    so full of themselves     they gag

& combust    like an old chemical rag

*

there is too much me in me!

how I touch everything I see

how I scrape away what touches me    I like how it hurts

when confetti blows out of my ears    I like to squirm

into a different simulation    where howling is

the cure for everything    even the most severe joy

*

when I am forced to realize the animal of myself

I write a poem & drop kick it

into Lake Michigan    I spread my body

on the chaise like a duchess

wearily ringing a small silver bell

for the maid she fired weeks ago

*

the poet’s work is crowded & sticky

how ultraviolet the task of living    how unserious

the flower’s death    which of course    all poems know

*

a poem eats me from the toes up

like a cartoon piranha    puts black x’s

over my eyes    makes rare animals

go extinct    kisses me on the mouth

it’s the best kiss that I’ve ever had


Sophie Bebeau is a poet from the small-town city of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Her poems have appeared in Bear Review, Your Impossible Voice, Zero Readers, Gulf Stream, Metatron Press’ #MicroMeta series, and elsewhere. Her work has also been nominated for a Best of the Net award. She currently studies Writing & Applied Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and works as a freelance writer and designer. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sophiebebeau.