Poetry: Big Need by Julie Alden Cullinane
I see the sound of big need on my face
mirrored in the sleek black glass window
It’s sicklewings spreading
belt-buckle divot pressed into my forehead
Like the pink half-moons of my thumb flesh
Sis is a furnace
I'm sluicing anguish
Greased up guts
Taste acid and horrible sour
The slightest slight shatters me
250 dollars an hour
My words a soupy, half-formed egg yolk
Ashamed of how wet they sound when I speak them
She chews - neutralizes them and spits them back to me
In slime-soaked beige
Now a signature, not a thumbprint
When bad things happen
Before bones and organs are finished
It’s too late, they fossilize
Then pay pay pay for careful extraction
Without knicking an artery
She’s a pixelated glitch in an armchair
A color with no smell
The radiator is a kettle that cant come.
It stirs my blood.
You are terrifying in your happiness
Beautiful and awful
Amongst all these unbearable bodies
A chemical hurt bubbles up at once, chokes me.
A sneak of a flame.
I swallow it, scribble yellow pad
I want to vomit out the window and have it boomerang back into my throat
Your promise was a lid
I gladly lived under
Breathed through holes in the cardboard
Big eyes examining me
A shrinking violet
A pharaoh once.
Julie Alden Cullinane is a poet and writer from Boston. She has published several poems, short stories, and CNF in various literary magazines. More of her works will be published in late 2023. She loves being alone with her family and her dog on a Sunday morning more than anything else in the world. She is currently knee-deep in a mid-life crisis. It takes up most of her time.