Lucia LoTempio

The Heart as an Autoclave

He says you smell as warm as elevator buttons
& set a precedent for fertilizing
sealed mason jar orchards,
predicated upon flooding basements
with cement. He had tired of love

being your partiality for tops of gas station muffins
& his bottoms—barbers catalog their daughters
with bulk cigarettes & pepper-spray. Count

on eyelashes the times his mother saturates
his steam, flaring the mechanism’s pressure,
& hemingways her will. Overwhelmed

by drowsy mumblings between sliced waves
of overall tags & clouded VCR chronicles,
he startles at your bacteria
buzzing in the autoclave: his blood & foam
congeal, cake down leg hair—split
grainy scab pockets off
to stick your teeth, bottom to top


Rolodexed Apologies for My Ex-Girlfriends

(f) I’m participating in electroshock therapy to not look for you in the clumps
of smokers outside our building—withholding so I can savor the runs
in your nylons & how your swollen pencil circles close & open from the bottom.

(g) Kindergarten: my addiction to the coat closet, hiding to scare all the girls—you piss steady-
quick on your stirrup pants, darkening like elephants getting hosed down at the zoo.
It smells onto a lunch box & the linoleum. I steal my sister’s Mickey Mouse watch
for you, his tangled arms windmilling—how dad candyboxes mom.

(h) I decide to watch the cursed Atlantis VHS with you: every girl who has potatobug-curled
on my lap as it starts has dumped me the next week. I fuck you over the couch arm
while it rewinds.

(i) On the subway you thumb your pill through the foil with a soft pop
& drop it. At dinner you take it calm with their cheapest shot. You say, I try to take it
every day.
I say, Try?

(j) We are banned from that Whole Foods—caught in the women’s restroom, sink-washing
parking lot bird shit out of your hair with paper towel crumbs & coke-fizz handsoap.
You were Coney Island: a place I’ve never been, but imagine abhors being written about.


Lucia LoTempio is a junior English Literature major at SUNY Geneseo. She was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She is obsessed with Marquez (but who isn’t?) and posters that are still up and advertising events that have already passed. She hopes to pursue an MFA program post-grad.

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