Kasandra Larsen

The Narcissist Hears What You’re Trying to Do There

 

Grabs your argument in a certain hand, clenches

your words in a fist,

spits

 

them back at you before you’ve decided

what you were even trying

to say. Perhaps

 

there wasn’t a manipulative germ

or any exhumed dirty word,

maybe

 

what he can hear and see

is the extent of it,

transparent,

 

but he’s perspicacious with a straight spine,

drawn to full height,

tongue

 

slashing, that dripping dagger

to remind

every syllable matters

 

in the way

it could possibly relate

to him. Admit

 

he wasn’t part of the intended audience,

meandering sentence

still unspooling from your lips?

 

Unthinkable.

Unforgiveable sin.

He has to stop you before you can begin.


Swing Song

 

Squeak creak squeal

squeak creak squeal: across the street,

a couple in their twenties

 

pumps long legs into glassy sky, bodies

flung nearly perpendicular

to the top of the bar, so high. Individual

 

horizons. Now she knows those sounds

last week at sundown

did not mean she was going to break

 

something.

How silly to think the weight

of forty-seven years means anything

 

to a swing

ready to squeak all comers into the clouds

and back to thirteen,

 

sullen, holding a Walkman

turned up loud, back to seven,

screaming in delight, pushed

 

so hard she had to hold on

tight. All the way home,

their palms will thrum

 

with effort while their minds

fly, worries having fallen

from their pockets like pebbles

 

into sand,

the smell of salty steel

still kissing their hands.

 

Kasandra Larsen

 

Kasandra Larsen’s work has appeared in Best New Poets, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Into the Void Magazine, Stoneboat Literary Journal, Two Hawks Quarterly, and others. Her manuscript CONSTRUCTION was a finalist for the 2016 Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry; her chapbook STELLAR TELEGRAM won the 2009 Sheltering Pines Press Chapbook Award. She is a two-time Pushcart nominee.

 

 

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