Instructions on How to Love Me

by | Mar 17, 2021 | Poetry

By now you’ve heard of Electra, something about penis envy,
and on how to love me, you should take notes on who fucked me up first.

When I asked you for the bruise on my ass, when it yellowed
and paled and spread, I pinched myself hard to keep it dark.

I like the feeling of finding the limit. I like the feeling of Because I can,
asking more blackberry, more darkness, right up to the edge.

My father once took my mother by the back of the neck and slammed her head
on a Jeep’s hood. Someone called the cops. No, wait. I think the story goes

no one called the cops. When the brain bruises, it welts the thoughts
into saying there’s something wrong with me over and over again.

Under the head’s thick bone, you can’t prove pain or memory. There’s space
to bleed and swell beneath the skull where no one sees the gyri turn yellow.

Which is to say, my father was the reason for my mother’s imaginings,
for all our days after, buried in dark rooms, searching meds online

and so much sleep with so little reason. Which means, I think Freud was full of shit.
When your thumb hooks my cheek, I bow because I’m close, so I’m sure

you’ll find after some time in loving me, my contusions are a map
of inverted mountains, sunk and black, flipped logic turned swollen landmark,

a history patterned with fingers and fists, damned. Welcome now, Teeth
let’s show them how we love. Find your way up my purple ports,

launch yourself from the spot on my ankles to my white thigh, and climb,
with consent, tongue over tooth, to the yellow pith of my heart.

 

INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO LOVE ME by Megan Alyse

 


 

Photo used under CC

About The Author

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Megan Alyse is a poem-slinging, queer mother and educator living in Ogden, Utah. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in TIMBER, LEON Literary Review, Juked, Rattle, The Rumpus, and Angel City Review. She received her BA in English at Weber State University and is a current MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College.