Spit Fire (Reading at the Hill​-​Stead Museum)

by Julia Alexander

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reading at the Hill-Stead Museum for the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition

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released April 19, 2013

thank you for having me it was a blast

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about

Julia Alexander Connecticut

I'm a part time poet and a full time cry baby. If you get too close to me, I'll write a really emotionally confusing poem about you. It'll be exhausting for both of us.

To contact Julia for inquires of all sorts e-mail juliaalexanderpoetry@gmail.com
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Track Name: Decaf or Regular?
I woke up wanting to kiss you,
You woke up wanting to make coffee.
Sitting on the edge of our bed
your spine creaked like all the
rotting floorboards we walked
over every day. I try to make it better,
but I am trying to cure a disease of
your mind with only my two hands.
There is nothing I can do to make
this
better.
There is nothing I can do to make
you
better.
I still remember the way your
lighthouse heart used to show me
the way home every night,
but I’m afraid that we’ve ruined
everything we’ve ever touched
because my ships just aren’t sailing anymore.
So you make your coffee.
I lie back and rest my head on the cool
pillow. By the time you come back
I am already asleep. You curl up next
to me whispering about how coffee
has always made you tired and
even with all that caffeine rushing in
your veins, you fall asleep again too.

I wake up wanting to kiss you.
You wake up wanting more coffee.
Track Name: Needles and Thread
Growing up, I had the only dad that could
sew circles around all my friends’ moms.
Anytime I needed something fixed,
I would put it in front of the sewing machine.
He’d put on his big reading glasses, sit down,
and work his tree-trunk hands across
whatever I had ruined this time.
He’d fix holes in my blankets.
He’d re-stuff my favorite stuffed animals.
He’d fix the frayed cuffs of my jeans.
Anytime I had loved something
a little too hard, he’d be there
to make it just like new again.

But, at some point stuffed animals and blankets
turned into floral dresses and mini-skirts
and the pile of clothes in front of the sewing machine
stacked up way too high.
Our house was bursting at the seams,
and my dad couldn’t fix all the holes
because they stopped being
made from loving too hard.
I was just playing with shears,
and then waiting for someone to
sew us back together.

Today, I brought him a broken zipper.
Let’s just bring this one to the tailor,
He said.
Track Name: All I Want Is for Congress to Stay Out of My Uterus
You were born with an umbilical cord
wrapped tightly around your neck
right on top of the graves of our fathers.
Your first gasp of air smelled like
death and roses,
overwhelmingly sweet,
undeniably bitter.
But after all these years you still
hold your breath when we take
a moment of silence for all of
your wasted potential.
You savor that regret as if
it were the tide.
You let it crash over you
again and again.
It’s about time you opened
up your lungs to the salty air.
Now you have to let the pain of
all we’ve done
seep into your every pore,
and it hurts, and you’ll choke,
but you’ll know it’s the
right thing.
You’ll know we did the right thing.