poem I wrote after I asked you if cereal can expire

there’s a pandemic and I think my arms are fat
I used to worry I had vaginismus
but it turns out I just wasn’t attracted to my ex
I put the wrong kind of gas
in the car and hate being alone
everything I do is on my computer,
which already feels like a word from the past
my children will type before they can walk
when I say children I feel like a painting,
like a Victorian woman
sent to be by the sea with her ailments,
which isn’t not what’s happening
upstate we have near constant sex and eat string cheese
I tell my therapist the rules
of Love Island and we unearth
that I feel like an islander trapped in the villa
wondering how things will be different
back on the outside
there is no world now but I still feel like
there must be some fabulous party
going on somewhere
everyone wearing shawls without me
smoking cigarettes with those long things
what are those? I miss feeling alive
by which I mean crying about my perfect life
and boys who don’t know how to dress themselves,
who tell me they wish my bathroom
was farther from my bed
so they could look at my ass
for longer when I walk away
I keep asking you if you think we are dead up here
the sky is brilliant and the playground is empty
parts of your house are warmer than others
and we sleep in the cold spots, holding each other close

– Catherine Cohen

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