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leah perlingieri




Home untangled first
Sex untangled second
Stuffing my eyes with distraction
Body scraped alive
Won't settle
Caffeine and sadness
Nothing left on this box to satisfy
What used to get me off
Was deemed dysfunctional
I'm in space now
Keep the vibrator charged
I don't know where this is going
The cat wants to get in
But I have been waiting over a decade
For this solitude
I have a landfill of sacrifice
I'm ready to move to a new site
Tend to me back in my corner
Being single does not mean available
This reminds me of the time
I climbed a stack of amps
In the armory and the sea of hands caught me
It was stupid and there was nothing but horizon
But I banked on something unseen
A bottomless topless sideless faith
That didn't rise from benches or hands laid upon
I have a name somewhere
I have to dig through the ink stained palms to find it



As Is


I want to be seen the way I am felt
by others, those few moments
when it has been decided.
There is a threshold to how many flaws
one can carry before they feel
Universally Unfuckable.
I can carry the weight
and wear heels,
sway right to left and crack jokes
but I cannot bear the crooked eyes
and ragged mouth,
skin stained and dinosaur patched.
It is not wrong
to want to match up
with our insides
in our world, America the Necessity.
Lay metal tracks across my skull
and manipulate me into the chosen ones.
I'm a goddamn butterfly and
I will pay good money for my cocoon.
When I kissed my best friend
in the front seat of her car
I knew this old love would carry me
like a bridge to a new love.
Definitions have failed us for centuries
yet relationships forge on.
I have ropes tied to all possible hearts.
I feel caught in a web,
and people call that web life.
And what I fear is far beyond
what perceived deformity
and excess flesh can handle.
I'm still not sure what people see
when they look at me even though
I've been looking my whole life
and that means I have this project
in front of me:
somehow I'm supposed to love myself
As Is.


Marriage Study


The problem with the marriage study
Is that we could not claim to be chronically unhappy
Without the same claim of being chronically happy
Just matters what day the interview took place
I genuinely love you and the birds
My part is the fantastic ability to bounce
Back and forth between our world
And the rest of the planet
Buckle up kids! You are coming with us
What would the electrodes say?
What about Sundays?
That's a really great article thanks for sharing
Another reminder that we eat shit on the societal norm
But gosh don't it all look so pretty
If only one time out of ten
We met the requirements of our hearts
We'd be masters



Leah Perlingieri lives in Portland, Oregon and is a creative writing student at Marylhurst University. She writes poetry and essays about modern domestic life: birth, marriage, parenthood, minivans, and red wine. Occasional blogging activity can be found at www.beyondthemilk.blogspot.com. These are her first published poems.