sporklet 11

Eloisa Amezcua

I Haven’t Masturbated In Five Days For Fear Of Crying

because two different hands have struck my face & I loved them anyways

because we confuse being ignored with being forgotten

because I’m no monster

because the lullaby of headlights from the highway outside my apartment

because when I said no, he asked if I was sure & I said I was sure & reader, you already know how

           this story goes

because I stare at my nipples in the mirror & they look like my mother’s

because I installed an app on my phone to track how often I check my phone

because the distance between shame & pride is narrow

because my therapist told me it’s better to break up with someone on a Friday than a Monday

because what I miss most about childhood is sleep

because I take a handful of pills three times a day & am not considered an addict

because I can convince myself that hurting someone is, in the end, an act of kindness so I hurt

because the drowned singer’s voice floods my car & I turn it up & I turn it up

because I did it on a Thursday

I Haven’t Masturbated In Five Days For Fear Of Crying

What do you call it

when you become someone

you hate for someone

you love & then you hate

yourself enough to leave

yourself & leave the someone

you love because if you don’t

love yourself you can’t love

the someone you love(d)

& then slowly you learn

to love yourself again

& you meet someone

who slowly learned to love

themselves again & you start

to love each other—

is there a word for that?

Eloisa Amezcua is an Arizona native. Her debut collection, From the Inside Quietly, is the inaugural winner of the Shelterbelt Poetry Prize selected by Ada Limón. A MacDowell fellow, she is the author of three chapbooks and founder/editor-in-chief of The Shallow Ends: A Journal of Poetry. Her poems and translations are published or forthcoming in Poetry MagazineKenyon ReviewGulf Coast, and others.