sometimes my girlfriend sleeps at her boyfriend’s house and dreams of me instead

poetry by Linette Reeman

sometimes my girlfriend sleeps at her boyfriend’s house and dreams of me instead

polyamory is the longest relationship i have been in. polyamory buys extra toothbrushes. polyamory brings extra underwear. polyamory has too many pillows on a bed with only one body. polyamory keeps extra phone chargers.

polyamory stacked all the textbooks neatly with their spines facing out. polyamory showed up late but stayed late also. polyamory still went home alone.


polyamory’s roommates are all monogamous. polyamory has only ever lived with monogamous people. sometimes polyamory’s monogamous roommates’ monogamous partners ask polyamory about their partner singular and polyamory answers in partners plural and then everybody’s eyes dart away.

polyamory runs up the electric bill every winter being jealous of monogamy. monogamy comes home. monogamy is free to hang out. monogamy spends over half a sun-cycle driving to hang out. monogamy always knows when they are being missed.  

polyamory has partners plural but they all live too far away to be a home with. polyamory picks out my outfit every day and i agree with it.


sometimes my girlfriend sleeps at her boyfriend’s house and dreams of me instead.

sometimes she tells me this over video-chat and my throat closes. when it does polyamory leaves out the back-door and lets the voicemail answer for days.


sometimes my girlfriend sleeps at her boyfriend’s house and i wake up in plurals. polyamory dreams of bridges. polyamory and i rearrange the pillows. polyamory and i open my laptop and wait.

i guess if it needs a name i’ll call it

poetry by Linette Reeman

CONTENT WARNING: rape. Please read at your own risk.

i guess if it needs a name i’ll call it

            jealousy

whatever the thing is where i wish i had a set of hands

            to hate

whatever it’s called when i realize it’s

            not a memory--

            it’s a warning--

 

i don’t have a rapist                     just a pile of limbs with too many eyes

a chronology of boys who will never tell other girls what

                  i am because it will make them not

 

                                                                       //

             again, again, a black-list is rallied

i am asked what names i would like to have added

             i am asked to remove my jaw and place in on the altar

i am asked if i remember any names

             i am asked to remove my shirt and place it on the ground

i am asked if i remember any

             i am                                                                              on the altar

i am asked if i remember

 

                                                                       //

 

             the F.B.I.

             asks me why i can’t remember                 anything

 

i tell them i don’t have memories i have fire alarms

i tell them i don’t have anything to say and they write that down too

 

            the F.B.I.

            asks me why i

 

i tell them i don’t have

                                                   anything                                 they write that down too

 

                                                                       //

 

i don’t have a rapist                              just                                  too many eyes

 

                                                                       //

 

i guess jealousy. or how none of them made me. how they all just coaxed. how soft they all were. how my breath shook. how they all asked how old i was. how they suckled that medicine swallowed it thought about it so what it’s just us you remember how. again, again, again, and i still don’t have to say more if i can’t. i am pulsed. gouged. i imagine a sword being cast.

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Linette Reeman

Linette Reeman (they/them) is an interdisciplinary archivist and poet from the Jersey Shore. They are the author of BLOODMUCK (The Atlas Review, 2018) and INVENTION OF THE MOUTH (Dream Pop Press, 2019), have work in the 2017 Bettering American Poetry anthology, and want to hear about your favorite bridge.