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alive alive

SARAH JEAN ALEXANDER

in the suburbs the air conditioned air 

gives my skin a panic attack 

I smoke around the side of the house by garbage bins 

getting sucked on by mosquitos like 

vultures on a carcass inhaling trash 

tasting celery salt maryland blue crabs and 

leaves in the summer are just

leaves in the summer 

 

sometimes a mouth looks like a wound 

sometimes it looks 

like a masterpiece like 

slender threads saying grace 

the beautiful thing about daylight is that 

you can feel it almost hold it 

in your hands and

I am panting for love I am red 

I am absolutely collapsed with it 

 

there is nothing dishonest 

about continuing to live 

about drinking coconut creamer directly from the carton 

about indulging and then

indulging 

 

to have a freak on a leash moment 

one simply has to walk around Tribeca in a sports bra 

I am so aware of comfort 

luxury

responsibility

the room fills with vinegar 

when I remember a cake that tasted mediocre 

but was finished anyway

 

evenings die like old dogs there is 

a subtle glow 

around my neck my tongue tasting 

seashells and existentialism maybe I’ll wake up 

achieve greatness have a fulfilling life die happy 

 

I leak with gratitude 

for whipped cream solitude for sluttiness 

and cardamom for putting the top of my head 

beneath someone’s hand 

gentle like 3 p.m. on a Friday 

is this the end it looks 

too clean too cool too moonlit and awake 

it’s quiet like closing your eyes like a small cup 

of drinkable yogurt a glass of papaya juice 

 

be foolish gather firewood and fire 

make a mountain climb the mountain 

I think I understand the chemistry of life 

if you are upset 

your time is being wasted or you are wasting 

someone else’s and 

while I Iove a lot of things 

like looking at a river alone or swallowing wine 

near strangers or touching hands with hands 

I hate when a cake is shaped like a guitar

Sarah Jean Alexander wrote WE DIE IN ITALY (Shabby Doll House, 2021)

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