Demi Richardson studied writing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming with Broken Tooth Press, Red Flag Poetry, SLAB, Alien Mouth, and Words Dance.
the first story I told you had to do with my father
and when you walked me home that night
you didn’t ask to stay
but I let you.
at five in the morning I stood on my front steps
with the porch light on and
watched you get all the way across the parking lot
before I called my best friend,
woke her up,
just to tell her about the way your hands looked
bringing coffee back to bed.
HOW IT ENDS
in a gallery, with you
looking sideways at me,
and deciding that girls with dark hair
and an affinity for Kahlo
are girls to steer clear of – or
in taxicabs, in
hotel rooms, in
half-empty bottles of whiskey
and artificial loss,
my throat is tight with
who is she? and why’d you go?
you are pouring honey and apologies
into your tea
(then you stop drinking tea altogether)
it ends soft
or with another big bang.
it ends the way it’s supposed to,
without us getting in each other’s way.
Chris said, “You need to find something else to wear.” and
my grandfather said, “Look at your hands – they’re blooming
In the passenger seat of my car, Ryan said,
“You are too selfish.”
Later, Sam told me we had time – as in, “You don’t have to
decide right now.”
Andrew said, “I know what you’re saying,
even if you don’t think I do.”
(I really wish he hadn’t said that.)
Jake said, “Come over.”
(Later, Jake said, “We shouldn’t have done that.
There is a lot that I
Bryan held my hand in the hospital, told me to
“Squeeze when it hurts.”
Damon wrote in a letter,
“I didn’t hurt you
this time around.”
Eric said, “Don’t tell her about this.”
And I said, “Okay.”
I said, “I won’t.”
A MAN ON THE TRAIN
has white lilies in his arms.
He moves his bag so that I may sit, and I ask him
where I might find flowers
as pretty as his.
His English is broken and his skin is brown, which is to say,
he is European
South American or
Middle Eastern or
or – I want to tell him,
I’m glad you are here – I want to ask
Where are you going?
instead I say,
You have the loveliest flowers.
Where can I find flowers
as pretty as yours?