Anhvu Buchanan



The numbers are in the air.  I am the scale and empty stomach. Who will wire my jaws shut? My calloused knees are grieving again. I am a mannequin on the bathroom floor.  I clean out the fridge with my tongue.  I am a bloated balloon with no periods. For your consideration, take notice of my plate. I am the stolen bites in the dark corner.  I swallow every morsel like shame like a stick of butter bathed in remorse. The calories are in the air. I am loose teeth and a handful of hair. I stuff myself with madness with sweets. I am terrified of discovery. My heart races with the company of food. I graze among the guests. I am an electrical cord slithering down the throat.  Nothing remains but swamps and slimmer waists. I am broken blood vessels and blue lips. The choir in the bowl sings again. I am closer to the bone. I am the standing ovation. The mirror never lies.




She researches the periodic table to let you know time can be measured in paper cuts and punctuation marks. Then lets the air out of all your tires.  She fantasizes about stabbings and one-night sleepovers. She’ll chew gum thoughtfully while driving around the main drag in search of company. Masquerades as a piece of glass. Then roams the edge of bridges late at night and says this is the true meaning of architecture. To say goodbye, she throws a bottle through your window and tells you its raining cats and booze outside.  She wants you to rename her then plot out the lifespan of her poems. She says she moons you terribly every second and wants to come back home. She rolls down the hill naked to see if the weekend really wants her. Asks you to show her all the ways you overcame creaky floors and carousels.  She sits outside the apartment of her exes, watching, with homemade bread.  She’s confusing you again for the last page of her favorite medical exam.




I’ve come through your heart by train. My mind is full of cut outs of cut outs laughing from the street window.  I can still see abandon dangling from the back of your head. You are in love with love again. You are romancing romance with your favorite movie lines. My legs are hanging off a summer roof worrying about jammed fingers and blurry endings. I am ten vowels away from your clavicle. Your arms are two wolves disappearing in the distance. There’s a half-truth stuck in the carpet and I’m not sure where to vacuum. A hitchhiker brought me a fever. You’re four fingerprints and three languages away now. A neighborhood of awkward flags live between us.  I’m spitting out teeth while you slam doors on my tongue.  I’d rather not sky again tonight. I’d rather not hiccup below your ankles. There’s too much paranoia and not enough lighthouses and lightning bugs. I’m all sweat and no rescue operation. I tender the doorknobs room by room. You’ve slipped away one last time. My jars won’t rejoice. I’ve dismantled the birdcage. What to say? What to hide? What to gut?




By the third date, I will always pay for you with unused wishbones and doorway butterflies. Across the table we talk in winks and finger gestures but below our toes tell another story. Later on, we kiss each other’s throats and disregard jealousy’s heckling. My legs haven’t forgotten the way the tips of your toes become morning and dusk all at once. The storm builds in our chests like we are made of salt water and first impressions. Your blues capsize me and I spill thunderbolts all over your lap. I apologize for leaving the life vests at home and you smirk at me as if I am the open road you always wanted. Maybe we should break the flowers and bury them in your glove compartment then call it home. You wore your hair up to let me know you like my dirty habits. We argue over what we should name our couch then wonder about tea leaves and accidents. When our water is sparkling and our tongues are calm we return the geese. You hand me a paddle, I hand you the creek. We listen to the shoreline then wait for each other’s call.