by Jaimie Gusman
I am perfect, green
leafed and sprouting endlessly.
You don’t want me (never did),
said the guy and the guy and the guy,
my father, former lover from Mexico,
the man who is/are the doormen druglords,
holders of my exits, guardians to my throttle,
unangelic white puffs going up up up.
I can’t really breathe in here I say
but the phrase stays stuck in my head
I say in an elevator mirror, mirror.
In Manhattan, there is a building
amongst buildings you cannot get into.
I stood with one foot on the high step
banging my bloody knuckles
while the garbage truck threatened
yo girl to give me bloody knees in one, two.
There are three buildings in Honolulu
crumbling amongst buildings that won’t let you in,
won’t let them in: sleepers, creepers, veterans?
I managed to lift a parking lot structure
out of pure enthusiasm
and relocate it to the second, third,
fourth story Matson bin complex.
The university, unimpressed,
told me to Re: Message from the Chair
to get off the bucket seat.
When I hit reply, I stop to breathe,
stop breathing, I say the phrase but the phrase
stays stuck in my head.
Jaimie Gusman lives in Kaaawa, Hawaii where she is a freelance writer and founder of Mixing Innovative Arts, Honolulu’s longest running reading series. Jaimie has three chapbooks: Gertrude’s Attic (Vagabond Press, 2014), The Anyjar (Highway 101 Press, 2011), and One Petal Row (Tinfish Press, 2011). Her work can also be found in the journals Moss Trill, Sonora Review, BODY Magazine, Trout, Mascara Review, Unshod Quills, LOCUSPOINT, Capitalism Nature Socialism, Hearing Voices, Hawaii Women’s Journal, Spork Press, Shampoo, Barnwood, DIAGRAM, 2 River Review, and others.