julia a.k. — 4 poems

+the chute of life is good

I don’t feel jealousy often
but when I see construction
happening on the 8th floor of a building,
the large yellow slide
connecting the window to the sidewalk
way down below,
I do experience something similar to jealousy.
someone without any connection
to the items that they are hurling down a chute
into a receptacle another man, 
without connection,
will drag away 
somewhere unrelated and far away,
I do feel jealousy.
for the fall those items feel, 
for the joy of the push, 
and for the man 
who gets to drive off 
without a care 

+man talking


the man repeats,
“girl, stay”
at least two dozen times,
as he attempts to command his dog 
who is leashed

to my ears out of context
his words echo and transform into a mantra,
slow and rhythmic,
as the portal to his world opens for me
much larger than the section of grass in which he sits,
allowing me to imagine the many girls—
the ones he has asked to leave 
and the many girls he has begged to stay


waiting on the corner of 7th ave and 32nd street,
I hear a man standing alone,
about ten feet away from me,
project his voice
like a cannon
“I have no idea what I’m doing in New York City.”
and I feel comfort in my bones
for the first time in a while.

the cicadas 
sing their summer 
they compete 
in the art of speaking
over one another
as I try
and fail 
to remember
In what direction the sun rises
or sets for that matter
making it hard to                                    
indicate where the fuck I am 
but only remembering how little I know
when asked

+flow agent 

the purchase of a bird
perpetually positioned 
within bars
without warning 
clipped wings
to suit her 
incongruous crypt 
in which she is perched 

her own mind 
she will sing
but only when 
she knows 
she won’t be heard 

her hereditary heath           
imagined within the nape       
of her bird neck 
she waits 

+fruit stripe

his diet
consisting of sugar-free gum
and sugar-free energy drinks 
that he buys while the car 
he’s left 
sucks up
the $4.67
a gallon
after gallon 

back in the car 
he unwraps 
and uncaps 
makes his way home
to the static of AM radio
fluctuating voltages
of taurine and spearmint

watching baseball
third inning 
he slaps 
his chew
underneath the coffee table
his woolgathering
uninterrupted by
the fine motor skills 
required in
this thoughtless moment 

the gum joins the conglomerate, 
the putrid hall of spit
delicately outlined 
hedge stones
marked by his 
his carelessness 

the older pieces
give the new member
an acknowledging look 
and they feel seen
in their depleted 
tasteless body
for the first time
in a while

all stashed
under the communal table
collecting the sounds of the 
communal space
the earth's crust 
or whatever layer exists underneath it
(in this instance
the underside of the pressure-
treated wood)
just above the sweat-filled carpet
he never cared
to move the table 
when vacuuming 

their contorted
their edges altered
left hanging 
resigned from former 
positions of importance 
a crowd of near misses
empty words
emptied mouth

the inning is over 
the refreshing taste of a 
new stick of gum

julia a.k. - Chicago resident, New York born, queer, 5’1”, loose cannon