Hate Ashbury // Luv You

by Zoe Alexandra

Supposed to write

a poem about San Francisco

but I've never been there

determined to research it

but came out essentially


Levi Strauss

The Gold Rush

Haight-Ashbury and all those fucking hippies

Spanish influence

It all feels so unfamiliar

I feel like less of a writer than before.

Write what you know

But I don't know anything

All I know is your face is blank

And I am marking all the questions

in with thick knuckled fingers,

trying to make sense of your temperament

Not sure if I should leave Queens

If you want me to shut the fuck up

If you want me at all

Who am I to you

but a girl you said you loved yesterday

Today could be different

It's your 31st birthday and my debit card got declined

And I feel like a piece of shit

Try to make some dumb face

that used to make you laugh

but forced laughter is worse anyway

I'd rather get punched in the teeth

Pour maple syrup red sludge from my mouth and nose

all over my white shirt

To tell you how bad it feels to be me

when you won't look at me,

look up from your coffee

look up at me on the train

back home to your apartment

where you'll fall right to sleep

Curled up like a Cupie doll

And I will stare at you,

feel so ashamed,

love you with every strand

of my fake ass hair

every fiber of my gums

every iota of my pupils

and what's inside my chest

love you so thoroughly I'd

Take whatever shit you threw my way

but you don't know

how I feel

You don't know

'cause you didn't ask

and I didn't say

and I didn't push your lips

into mine to make you see

the fractures and femors

behind my face

Write what you know

But I don't know anything

All I can see is

You're my real birthday present

a week late

wish I could be yours

wish I could pull all the poison out from

the lining of my cheeks like a snake

gut out the ducts with a paring knife

be the perfect stuffed cat,
the perfect 10 and a half you deserve

But I am painfully human and you'll have to understand

that my oversights slap me every time they meet your glance

If I could I'd be Cheetora for you

or any kind of cat you wanted,

curl up at your feet and purr like

an explosive attack,

Thundercats Ho! (for you)

Do whatever you want me to

If I could be a size 2

I'd let you wear me

black and blue,

I'd let you rearrange my


make me flush with your


lay on top of you like a feather

San Francisco is far away

and I've got phone bills

and debt

and the electricity's

out at my house

and I can't bear to think

of how far it'd be by plane,

how my ears would pop

and my head would ring,

there's not enough jokes to get me through that

not enough songs to sing

and all I've got there is one cousin

and a friend of a friend

and all of this just makes me feel more


I've ever been

Write what you know

But I don't know anything

Trying to write a poem about San Francisco

And all I can think of is your face

glows like shooting stars

electrical tape

bold in my psyche

Hands that feel faultless around my waist

Hands that feel like they were meant to be there

(But never were before)

I adore you

It's your 31st birthday and you're sound asleep

While I watch you

While I love you

From 10 feet away.

Zoe Alexandra is a twenty-three old writer from New York City. Her writing has appeared in various online and print publications including Best Lesbian Erotica 2007 (Cleis Press), My Time – Lunch Book (Poet Plant Press), Zygote in My Coffee, Deconstruction Quarterly, Silenced Press, Mad Swirl, The Common-Line Project, Indite Circle, Remark, Erotic Writers & Readers Association, Thieves Jargon, Sisters of the Page, Instant Pussy, Word Riot and The Cerebral Catalyst. Future work will appear in Debris a print issue of Zygote in My Coffee and Best Erotica 2007 (Arnoldo Mondadori Editore- Milan Italy). She is currently at work on a chapbook with Scintillating Publications entitled, "Cock Shy". www.myspace.com/zoe_tang