Four Poems by Alexandra Dine

Alexandra Dine

MIDBEAT 

i saw the storm 

i knew you as i knew my own sun rises thighs cross’d-out in old disguises:
the temper’d skies seize
me up and he sizes 

up the sludge / lines / and rot 

and root 

kicks my KISSed boot
a lift-off scoot
from body-smacking toots ~live, wise, spoken~ from stressful roots
from a tall tall beaut
...from lips gone mute. 

i climbed up you sludgy sunlit years ago, splitting hairs, feeling snug and leaking air
past swinging threads and a small holy tear.
“i’m busy then” “you scared? 
cause i’m oot and aboot and not gonna care.” 
loud hips blare
out overall-- a trussed-up pair, ripped & flared. they’re all i wear a dare pops a bruise on a pulp-studded stare. 

we were the street-green shadows of north america, my third unvisited, no sound, nonsensical, musical, alight, cream-popsicle-bright.
when
i walked out of a blue heart 

and into a fat cat. 

ratatat
a clue / i knew / was you stood by a standing day but i saw you on a sat-down day. i motored on in as a double in painted restraint after caffeinat-
ing
in Brooklyn.
i did not
carve floaters into your irides
or-- i did not mean to--
but on the train you’d struck a match, a latchless mouth, a word “do-not-attach” 

and when i said hi . . .
and when you leaned in
we made a wish on the moon. 

you were teaching me beats in the heat with just the billowing wheat to eat so i tugged on shorts and slapped rap up eight
yells. dance spells.
soapy salt smells, warm skin harmonies and mel- 
odies odd. a summertime pod with just enough towels and electric streaks. 

but... you wanted blood.
_
it could hurt with red shine, a shined valentine rind
when it’s not just my heart, my breath, my kind
it’s me
in my whole body, my blue-violet mind
the way i dance, a curious chase. the wiped-out face. my prom dress shoelace. the beat when he lingers and flips my words up to space.
how i got swept up and ran far, paced-out long.
a natural, violet-valentine, turtle-hare race. the strange need. the faraway-mountain-blue tugged-along song. how i go invisible 

the mathematics tactic. slow-n-steady magic. the artist’s way. teeth chomp down drastic, learned words, hard semantics. the fantastic, the romantic, the rumbling instrument. 

you asked for a star, or many of them.
this is where my metal spoke turns, speaking because
to beat that heart
that speed
with pause, who fell down
is to stop a flutter and wake too early
a death among hyphens
and “hmm”’s
that were three strokes
then silent.

checked— 

maybe i smeared a sticky stick-along chain 
between
blue-laced / direct
and artfully wrecked. 

you saw my film and closed my eyes—
i fast-forwarded when you closed my eyes 

i know
you love a screaming KISS and righteousness and 
once did something beautiful
and have sad eyes like me.
i know you say goodnight
to two red spies
on either side
and
i used to be Bocephus. 

I don’t know much more.
I didn’t choose the light. It just happened one night: the storm soaked the sheets and tore the bed open 
 

STOMACH 

I can 

sto 

masturbatin 

since my assault 

it’s in my stomach
on the roof
it’s windy;
I don’t dance anymore. 

There’s four corners here 
there’s majesty
and ladies to dance with 

to spread ‘em and
feel the sudden moves. 
A shine goes 

unanswered
My stretch knows
no bounds. I hear the sounds 
of magic
on the rooftop 

Flushed; winged
Streaking past window lights 
Looking for a woman who has power 
Because people
Willingly give their power
To her.
I squeeze my own waist,
belly ring POP! 

I had them pierce me hollow 
Magnetic
So when I fawn
And fall into your deep pit 
I catch myself
And walk into a room 

I’m a girl in a room. I love this room. 
 

...AND YOU ARE? 

I thought you knew my name 

A minor progression 
moves
With it flies my body 
from the bed 

To the sidewalk at 7am, 
dogs barely human
at my ear. My heel
on discarded 
piano guts. I am
caught between sounds, 
—at once—
scraped off like old signage 

and paper in water. 

Rippling the belly-up monster— 
rats are birds:
pinwheels of sun and wind mixing 
salt with skin 

It’s because I held out 
a cup
and the skies filled it 

with
a lot of good easy talk,
then a slippery deep-tea jelly— 
meniscus trembling violet,
my wee fleur knelt to carpet 
your floral-powder
burgeoning
just beginning 

you deserve it all 
a tailor, a bike, 
a violent red. 

you can’t fly but you tried 
before the rain 

The gash was bloodless
freezer-burned
vertical coconut cavern
coconut geode on the West Coast where it rains every day 
a cavern of snow on the mountains in the moonlight 

Before it rained 

we melted. do you remember 

onto the real floor. under the whole sun 
there we set alarms to part 

When I woke
I whispered a pink dance though
I was dragging a snappish little history too 
Through your good eyelashes, good jaw 

I ran all the way home,
dry throat blossoming like a rose 

Everything: just thrown to the wall, where I was projected, where the movement shimmered and i ran into a conglomerate of slop—
rodents in an abandoned piano 

I thought you’d say my name right
I thought we were the same

 

WHERE I WENT TO SCHOOL 

Through a silk—
I say, fruit jiggling as I walk, 
that I learned 
brushing your teeth while your date is here
from Paula Danziger’s “This Place Has No Atmosphere” 
‘truth’ from “Aladdin” 
as Jasmine spoke it 

I remember some things with more resonance 

patience and a quarter for tomato Bubblicious 
from a lit little chore in a foyer; grape gum rounding 
the sun as quietly as it warbles
between Hemingway’s teeth
golden trails like stretched scum
i blow a bubble, which is not a tomato, nor the sun. 

I learned happiness in letting go
rhythm from four-year-olds and forty-five year olds 
confidence through doubt and safety pins
and no spooning for three years 

I danced through long hair, violets and film school, 
the graveyard park through nylon lens and Vaseline 
the last of the splicers 

I wasn’t sure when I wanted warmth
I learned warmth from him, and her, but mostly perceived 
a heart steps up, turns on her toe; bruises
eye; writhes a small gasp
falls with glissando, a fan 

torn sopping 
to pieces 
like daisy did 

I twist, chest a shined 
valentine rind
wetly red, rightly 
cracked. 

big shadow 
drumbeat 
bites my heel 

I walk to it,
i walk alongside 

Contributor(s)

Alexandra Dine

Alexandra Dine is a Missouri-born, Queens-based poet, preschool teacher and pianist. Her decade of teaching in New York City schools informs her teaching and her art-making as she binds learning to experiencing. Inspired by her profession's lyrical sheen (children are natural poets), she runs experimental literary readings around town, spotlit on the space between "stomp" and "silence." Her shows aspire to drag beauty from the mundane— to learn through unnaming.

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