Heartthrobbing beatpulse—what a player you are!
Go about yr teasing like it’s Thurs night
& you just sent nudes, ring in labret cuz basic
-ally i’m hot for it. Desire—fucking hilarious
consort—push pull jerk jolt pull pull push.
You want someone
so evanescent they blur, the thing about
a crush being implausibility.
There’s seldom any follow-through
rarely nodal seepage. Who knows? Part the fun
what’s obvious is how it becomes you
the sense of you wearing it—shaky
gestures & crumpled speech, a joke in the butt
of yr jeans. My heart digs
the tension of unrequited love
what i call rejection edging—low stakes
heartbreak & flushbreast
distress. You must become adept at
several things at once. What’s utopic
about the crush is its ghost veneer, never quite
materializing like you dreamt—
though the prospect contours nanoseconds
vis-á-vis duration. The way crushing starts
is you feel everything excessively
& it overwhelms. Goosebumps as chorus
lifts bridge, when they cross the floor
& you panic, turn beet & spill gut
to friend, yr mesh & slutty
rave gear pierced by wind
blowing any illusion
that March = spring.
There must be a million doors & i
would walk through each of them.
Y’know what i mean? Desire—
too much & always the mood.
My feet beat easy rhythm in NYC noise.
Sometimes i fall in L----’s arms,
sometimes L---- falls in mine
or we seek life elsewhere
as want feels right. We always find our ways
out then back again, slightly changed.
T---- says taking pleasure in one another
’s pleasures makes us unfuckwithably hot.
That’s called compersion & there’s a lot
of softness in the world, even considering—.
A form carries blithely through crowd
musk & yr breathless. A customer steps
up, woos you w their gap tooth.
Taking pictures in East River Park (defunct)
A- said he’d had his ass kicked by love.
No joke—that shit’ll fuck you up
even in its single-celled congealing form.
When i see my crush i try & play it cool
but mostly it's like the flat
of my stomach’s been ripped out
& everything inside me topples
bigass slushpile imogen
drawn & quartered only A) its cute
& B) almost nobody knows. Only i
can see it, or you or
whoever we’re gossiping too.
i like being stripped b/c naked
i am boundless—
i can out-wiggle these cuffs
soldering my issues. When yr naked
nothing about the workweek
makes sense—when i say YES
it means waste me
in the least lucrative way.
Later, upon reflection
there’s a subject or several
—slant quotidian now isn’t that hot?
i’m talking about desire
to render what’s w/in
w what’s emergent in slight dis
A crush holds the world in mind
’s eye, let’s you walk
yet never acclimate.
My w( )oles stuffed w paradox
i wanna be pure. That’s a blasé
way of saying contaminated
which is a melodramatic way
of saying all up in it—
crush(ing) velocity, hoarding
new fonts, ways of tucking
in a shirt, bratty little phrases
loose in meter
—love played simple
skip triple poly dutch & try not
to disassociate like rain pouring
out low hanging clouds. One can’t
always be so present—it’s hard
getting anything done & that’s magic.
imogen xtian smith is a poet & performer living in Lenapehoking/Brooklyn, New York. Their work has appeared in Baest, B L U S H, Folder, The Rumpus, The Poetry Project Newsletter, and Tagvverk, among other journals, as well as in We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics. Imogen is a 2021–22 Emerge Surface Be Fellow at The Poetry Project & MFA graduate from NYU, and their debut collection, stemmy things, is out from Nightboat Books.