Two poems by Lauren Saxon • Empty Mirror

YOU in treesYOU / credit: D. Enck

even now, even still

I remain unsettled by the lengths we go to
disguise our own loneliness
my focus not on the arrows – red roses
wilting through my chest
but rather on who put them there

I am emptier than I was yesterday
& drinking less
all with the hope that you, too,
might starve, or at least
grow weary enough to notice the fault lines
hidden in your palms & smile
how, even now, they fracture
creating chasms deep enough
to swallow the strongest sips of my joy

This idea remains—
that I won’t materialize fast enough
that this lifetime is a brief dinner toast
dedicated to moving forward
to moving on
to moving
it has to be the next one
in which the sun warms
both sides of my face & the ground
the ground with all its cracks
supports my weight, even still

On Sunday

I found myself in a garden
me & nine other participants
turning topsoil & planting summer squash in
a therapy program that preached healing in nature

chores were chosen & I picked
watering because it was Sunday &
I like playing God —
my artificial rain sustaining life

the most intoxicating part
is controlling when & how the mist
intercepts the sun
I’d stand

making rainbows & with them a space
in which I can love, safely

I’d stand
& remember my first time in a gay bar &
remember the girl who dragged me there
& remember how loud we must’ve been
laughing to hear each other so clearly

this is how I choose to remember us —
Together & Alive

playing God, I watered flowers that reminded me first
of her funeral & then of her &
then of every queer body that felt
Homeless enough to leave it

it was Sunday & I picked watering

I made
rainbow after rainbow, hoping
that somehow
It might be enough
to keep us safe

About Lauren Saxon

Lauren Saxon is an engineering student at Vanderbilt University. She was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and writes mostly about her experiences with race and identity. Lauren is a reader for Gigantic Sequins and her poetry is forthcoming or featured in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Flypaper Magazine, and Nimrod International Journal. You can find her at Laurensaxon.net, on Twitter @Lsax_235, and on Instagram @Laurensaxon235.

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