A poem written for an old love

This came out of a free-write in the backseat of a car. Something like that.


“A Simile Like You”
Adriana E. Ramírez

We drive along the highway in Indiana
snow on the ground—sunglassed and pure
like a Tuesday.
And inside my head there’s a swelling;
inside my head, shit’s about to burst.

And there’s crises on the left—
a woman plowed into the pink clay,
a child forgotten for seven hours at soccer,
a fat man’s scream like a feathered snake
coated in salt, like a tracked mark—
seconds before we all slide up half-burnt anyway.

Like my eyebrows are fire,
and the lashes small fans
and your eyes, baby, smell like kindling

So what I’m trying to say is that
my facial hair has depreciated,
my left ventricle’s been remodeled,
my esophagus got new locks
and my gizzards turned into pie,
cuz no one makes pie sleep on the couch.
And I like you.

Like bananas in underwear,
like television on my skin before breakfast,
like you bought me scissors and a dotted line—
showed me how destruction meant order
how tomatoes, when crushed, can’t recover—
but it always tastes better when broken.

Like monkeys watching us at the zoo,
like butter on a pine tree,
like a museum when you kick it,
like a smile on a bitch:
We’re improbable.

And I like you like you like me,
like looking liking loves.
But this shit’s about to burst.

And teeth that look like daggers usually are.
But I kissed you anyway and I told you
I believed in astrology so you’d give me a moon,
settling for a lunar pod, cuz, hell,
the economy’s shit and Indiana
is looking more and more like my bed than
any other wasteland these days.

So you were naked and I laughed at you,
called you my little goat monster,
but that’s just because
beauty is fucking hilarious,
like talking to a face on a magazine
or an advertisement for liquid joy.

But what I meant to say is that you look—
like all the happymeal toys I coveted as a child,
like feather, rope, & glue,
like a computer under water,
like sanity and ketchup,
like everything else so familiar and impossible and real.
like blood
like sandwiches
like a blind bird sculpted
like sand
like my heart in your breaking hand

And one day, it’ll be us,
two human beings with belly fat
and a keen sense of humor,
actually walking away,
like two flirting chasses
passing one another on a highway in Indiana.

And for a second, the 80s dance track will skip
and my voice, as I sing along, will
hit the one note that makes me thirsty
like a bloody mary for you.

And when I look over,
you’ll be gone—
and I’ll wonder if you existed, if you stepped out
for fuel and stretch,
your plates clattering as the landscape consumed you
like all the roads we’ve traveled do.

Baby, this shit burst.
And I wonder if you were ever really there.
Like a bridge after fire.
Like words.