Two Poems by Zoë Barnstone-Clark

Cheers, appreciate it

There is nothing quite like this ease
of waking up and seeing the blue sea.
The walk down the mountain never tires me.
I soak up the sun till my head feels fuzzy
and my stomach sick in anticipation of the
days when grayness will turn me inside out.
We trade jokes and stories and kisses.
Laughter *inner-peace* repeat laughter.
You’re from here, I’m from there,
we exchange our slang words
and play each others games.
Kings Cup and Charades,
amber and clear giggle juice
till we’re all singing and snapping pictures
we’ll howl over in the morning.
I sprinkle flowers on the sand
and believe I am the music man.
We have feasts of Tootsies, non-carbonated Fanta
and lemon french fries.
We walk and walk some more,
to the beach and back again,
up and down the mountain.
The mountain of home and beginnings
(first kisses on roofs.) Hands, hands,
hands, “This is such a tease.”
He’ll take his time navigating the
in between of my mind and thighs.
2+2+2=love hexagon
Pretty pictures on petty feeds—
beautiful people all of us,
kissed by the sun and timelessness.
Then we all started dropping like flies—
time to wake up, end this fantasy.
Ferry boats leave panic in their wake.
My snot on his shoulder and I hated
to admit I knew why so I told him “later.”
He told me “I need space,” BUT WE HAVE NO TIME.
Einstein says space = 3 dimensions, time = 1 illusion.
Bitter kisses and harsh words BUT YOUR SWEET BLUE EYES.
I don’t know what wasn’t a lie.
When we had little hands and feet you asked
to marry me, but only toddlers
play pretend.
time to wake up, end this fantasy
Ferry boats take me and leave no tears in their wake.
Home again? No, just waiting to leave this town and be alone.
I tell myself, “Don’t be so meloncholy.”
My silly mind says, “Cheers, appreciate it.”

Hometown Fishbowl

The winding roads of our hometown fishbowl,
were still wet with the grime we’ve left as a shoal.

It’s that all too familiar glaze of comfort,
derived from that time you hit me up from your pillow fort.

I’ll never feel alone as long as we’re all banging against the glass
and you keep telling me I’ve gotta nice ass.

We’re all pretending we aren’t engaging in incest,
but I’ve had to draw maps to keep track of this love fest.

We’ll keep gasping for air and drowning in memory
that’s been drained of all the sensory.

We’d do better to cease wallowing in stagnancy
and gossiping about the latest teen pregnancy.

We ought to break the all-consuming glass in pieces,
even if it means bleeding from our fingers’ creases.

I don’t mean smash bottles against it’s facade
because that only makes us more flawed.

I don’t doubt that someday you’ll wake up and see
that only escape will set you free.

zbc_author photo

Zoë Barnstone-Clark’s work has appeared in New Letters. She grew up in Columbia, Missouri, and is currently in her first year at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.


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