What I’d like to get Romeo to understand
if he weren’t already dead is that
all I do is check my mail.

I do not keep an altar in my bedroom—
candles flicker not around my temporary tomb
I am not allowed to keep a pet in this apartment
so I was thinking icons might actually be someone to talk to or
ask things of

and Leonardo DiCaprio has gotten so young
smoking a cigarette against that orange sunset

I’m sitting here in a
black silk kimono painting my fingernails bubblegum pink and yet somehow it’s taken me  fifteen years to realize that, in this version, Mercutio is gay
or that Romeo is tripping on acid before
he falls in love

I like knowing the end
my plot
we’re born to die
Emotional, Romantic, Drama, Based on a Book
there’s no point going to check the bathroom mirror because
no one can cry like
Claire Danes can cry

No one’s ever gonna call you from the downstairs payphone,
so pray hard:
one day I want a boy’s choir at my wedding,
search light, flood light,
flashing over the Cristo Redentor
like last night’s protests
LOVE lit up
on the Verizon building


OLIVIA DUNN is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Skidmore College and a recent graduate of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Her work has been published in the Pinch Journal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *