Frances Sharples

Currencies of Loyalty

I stretch fingers across dust-tangled stale room/mate      wanting her/them the same way I do when I hurt for     a cigarette — I’m not good     to stay at home anymore. ever since    those     slabs of something     durable. I ask my brother     what he wants for the holidays,     he says     something durable, which is to say          something that will last. so I think of that click/slam     of a door that outweighs me          tenfold, keeping me in/out of          the/my   bedroom. I’m not good to stay     home   alone           with something durable     in the    house. instead I want        to fall asleep in her room, the fire alarm disconnected,    the   locks broken, my microplastic

ten-cent grinder forever lost

in the fast-food wrappers               and ash               of her dining room table

everyone’s shit

drudging through the leaking pipes of the         ten-square-inch bathroom more smoothly          than some old/slut/me would slip home          on some cold November morning          and sure, I’ll stay       another round, weak-willed enough that     it doesn’t take to/o much these days. I drink from her hand,     I’ll get too high and lose       myself in her city of torn upholstery, stolen furniture. I’ll get too close and suffocate                on cat-induced dust and leftover        Halloween vomit on the carpet. plea/se, if I start to feel anything again          I’ll show myself out — slip like a slut     on some November morning, walking home with the     heavy      conscience of something      durable. the sharp nick of a door that does not               really even need a lock. when           I stay                in one place           too long my eyes      become well/adjusted. pleas/e, when that goddamn durable door shuts          I miss more than anything               those mornings when I couldn’t see anything     at all — no one, no bodies or     tears, scars, blood left on my sheets or her inner thigh,   the ear/rings too many girl/s     have left in my bed by/for

   “accident,”          this purgatory      of pretty and its varying       currencies of loyalty. if only the door would      close with slab click,          cold and death sound/ing sweeter evermore.     if only we all turn the lights off again      we can go back to sleep the way that children do, & when

the lights are off,       who doesn’t look for          that sweet thing

for which we’re yearning, no, no,          I can’t keep doing it. doors        keep swinging closed. closed        is an ending, ending is durable. I want   thesweet   thing for which we’re yearning           like lollipop, found & hairy that dissolves        in saliva or               morning/rain water.

I want to devour it               and fall asleep fat       & dizzy in my bed. I reach for a cigarette       when it looks fat & dizzy. behind       this door my hair is dry. my skin       is poisoned. I need to stop being touched,       falling asleep in the beds of strangers that maybe       someday I’ll love,        take the lit end of that cigarette that we both            want so much and put it through her/their face            when I find it              between my knees               in the                mo/urning.

Frances Sharples is an English literature major in their last year at Geneseo. Frances is the Editor-in-Chief of The Lamron and Iris Magazine. They write a lot and talk even more. They also read poems and listen to music and love all of their friends.