cl young




I’m having a difficult time
not leaving myself
I am in love with a man
and all of his friends and the babies
in Seattle my heart falls out
while the person next to me on the bus
eats a whole package of raspberries
like it is just the afternoon
and I allow it
talk on the phone with my lawyer friend
he’s the only one so far
to make a career
from our philosophy degrees
and now his heart is broken as fuck
we talk about our lovers’ shapes
what they do to the air
outside of their bodies
he says I bet you look
like a Christmas tree
and we agree
that the mere sense
of living is still joy enough
I give him credit
for thinking regularly
of Emily Dickinson
I am sorry
for being
cut open
I say






Rich wrote a poem called Objectification
it says I was trying
not to have to have you
I was trying not to have to pin you up
against some something hard
wall, shower door, etc.
I was trying not to
have to break some but Rich
gets enough air time let’s not talk
about Rich I want to talk about Tim and Jack
I want to talk about Mary who isn’t dead
I am learning to have feelings
I love to watch people try
I love to touch
the backs of their hands
it’s a good little job you’re doing
most of the people I like have died
by the age of 40
what does that mean
for my poems for my friends
I do not want to die
but I do not want to be C.D. Wright
in that house with Frank either
I will hear no more guns forever
Chris coaxed Paul into rehab by telling
the story of Michael and the train
I guess I’d never thought of Michael
having had a problem insomuch as I thought
he was in love with feeling
and not feeling in equal measure
there are 365 days in a year
at least 15 of them
are already taken
by our dead
I am 26 years old
how long to fill the calendar
I do not want to die
but I do not want to be Wright
in the house of Stanford
I do not want to be Notley next
to the bed of Berrigan
you are so sweet
you are so fucking sweet you
are just so fucking god damned sweet
where did all that pain come from
people act like they are made of nothing
fluffy picture picnic clouds
the Idaho kind like you
sweaty double whiskey rocks you
pack of cigarettes no sleep
no not even night
sweats so sweet
fuck me for you for being
so sweet where’d you get that
pain we have got
to write





and still I can be hurt by a flower
tell me this is how it was
again with more air in between
I spend fifty dollars on underwear
keep the skin of the first summer
peach from splitting
some mornings you yell at me
for trying to change you
while I quietly hate
the Ouija board
and raffles and carnivals and fun
some afternoons I wait for the doctor
stirrups on either side of my knees
face flushed blood pressure
how do we get away
with being so careless
what do men really know
about their bodies
soon I will move
to the middle of the country
where all this will be the same
I promise
to wear sunscreen






CL Young was born and lives currently in Colorado. She is from Boise, Idaho.