Ashley Olin

If Miley Cyrus Were a Country

If Miley’s viewers were a country, they would be the fifth largest
population in the world—just ahead of Brazil. –Daily Dispatch

She licks me clean after I rowboat
her lime green fishnet arteries—
still hoarse

& sliming from the trek
under a tattooed tributary: reads love
never dies. She’s a series of detailed lists—

I forefinger how many while performing
acupuncture on the shellacked skin
beneath her breasts, often

forgotten—. A giant matrix
of hiding places: take refuge
in the crevices of her hip-bones, swamps

of her cheeks for you will be
unfound; if her mouth floods
I try to pinch her so she swallows. Her earrings

are park swings, double
as captain chairs when we travel. I
think she loves

me—sees everything
as overstretched dreamcatchers, covers
what she doesn’t like

with post-its. We are imperfect; I
patchwork her when she tears
using dampened skin fragments

from her lower lip insides.
We are an island—I, her only
inhabitant—. Her fingernails:

straws—thankfully I know
she will suckle me back in if
she sees I’m sliding out.



You are only allowed to chart your pressurized melancholy
for three episodes of Netflix at a time. You might be

alone: stop being harassed by your cuticles. Build up
an immunity to dandelions—parasitic, derogatory—pull them

from between patio bricks and if you so choose not to
press them in vodka, throw them in the sea. Collect

pieces of seashells in prescription bottles. Give everything away—
one-egg frying pan (a few eggs), cat slippers for sick days,

your eyelashes—. These are the things you may keep.
Barbecue on the porch: allow your friend and her husband’s toddler

to cling to the side of your sundress. If in eleven
years he and his friends find you attractive (watch your legs

in Jimmy Choo)—don’t let your face turn. Sing
alone in your kitchen once everyone leaves, soak delicates in the sink.

You wake: raindrops kamikaze into Monday. You will hate
the way you sign your name on the rent check—will want to scatter

your ex’s floors with crescent finger nail clippings and watch him
walk barefoot. People will tell you to breathe and just smile

which will make you more furious than mold—if they ask
you your plans to settle down, say you have none: regardless

of how your knees might buckle
when you see him in a suit. Not a

ceiling—he is the sheetrock cut out of it
to make space for a chandelier.

Ashley Olin is a senior at SUNY Geneseo, majoring in English Literature but occasionally dabbling in poetry. She spends most of her time at Leg Up Stables riding for Geneseo’s Equestrian team, and can otherwise be found buried in reading at Starbucks. She would probably be best friends with Elizabeth Bennett from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

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