WUSSY is proud to present two poems by Atlanta writer Liz Clayton Scofield. Please be aware the second poem, "Brutal Dirt", contains some descriptions of violence that may upset some viewers. <3
beautiful floral beings
I have flashing memories of the free fall and the bungee cord seemingly not quite kicking in, seemingly letting me fall forever into the ground and further into concrete, through concrete, into nothing, into everything, I have these flashing memories and I relish them and they hurt—they hurt because they are gone, because they are real, because I can still taste the air, sharp and cold, and how it felt rushing through my entirety, my being, my body, and I can still taste the tequila, straight up only slightly watered down by melting ice, that didn’t have enough time to melt very much because we hit everything so hard then. We hit everything so hard, because everything was hitting us so hard, we didn’t know what else to do, but a magnum of red, whiskey diet, Jameson on the rocks, tequila shots, and a pack of American Spirit blacks, on repeat, on repeat, on repeat, styrofoam cups and a blanket with a crocheted cat.
I need to recount it now or I will let it dissolve into the past. I need to recount it now before I reset the hard drive and delete all that miscellaneous experience that will spread malicious content into my bloodstream if I don’t trash it now. She said, you would light the house on fire just so you could jump out of the window, through the flames, to see it burn, to cry with the neighbors and the firemen, to collect the ashes afterwards, and ultimately to be broken, to then rebuild from nothing, just to burn it all down again. Maybe I would. Maybe I did. Explosives in the backyard—they told me it was dangerous, but the flashing light, I found so attractive. I had to burn it down to build the fantasy—to crawl into my own rabbit hole where I could stop time. I pulled you in with me and taught you how to play pretend. And I pretended I had love and I had hope and I had beauty captured in my pocket, and it wasn’t going anywhere, and there was only happiness and no pain and no hurt and everything was good and nothing was bad and money didn’t matter because I owned all the banks and I ran the reserve and I printed all currency myself. But even the most carefully constructed imaginary structure can topple so easily, with the slightest exhale of words whispered from reality—my delusions now are just dust adding to the pile of ash of the bridges and homes I’ve burned for the sake of my delusions.
You’re gonna have to grow up someday.
This chair leans back far too far. The coffee is cold, a little stale. The room is uncomfortable, right on the edge of chilly. The white cinder block walls remind me of third grade. I could just paint a wide stripe about three feet up around the perimeter, in a vivid primary color. Not a place I would choose, but handed to me, I suppose I have to make the most of it. White cinder blocks don’t feel real to me—fiction never suited me, to read nor to write nor to live. Baby, I need something real—and if I went and pressed my hand against that wall, with just enough pressure, slight pressure, I believe the wall would give way and reveal to me it’s nonexistence. And upon this revelation, the wall and I would have a wonderfully colorful and intriguing conversation not about the weather, because the wall and I don’t waste our time throwing around trivial and trite phrasing about the sun or the gray or the cold out today—but about the implications of the crossings of our existence and how hopefully from this tiny point on the trajectory of time, we will continue on our little lines in the plane of this universe or whatever existence, go forth, changed, a new lease on life. I fell into the wall, stood inside the wall, became the wall, and felt what it was to be still and silent and supportive. I let everything move around me and realized in this experience, I felt the weightlessness of freedom while the cinder blocks held me there, and I became the cinder blocks.
I will not be the stranger in my own life anymore I will know myself on the inside and out and I will let the evil rot away and decay and I will compost it and let it grow beautiful floral beings.
I don’t need flowers to describe you. You don’t need ornaments.
You are bare. Be naked here with me.
I don’t need to compare you to anything. You are not a metaphor, a simile, a simulacrum.
I don’t want to describe you with any like or as.
You are not a representation of some ideal I’m seeking.
I just fucking want you. I just want to fall apart into you.
There are no flowers here. There is just brutal dirt, and we are fucking in it.
I threw my thesaurus away because you are not an entry in it and why do I need any other words
than I LOVE YOU now.
You broke me and my ability to wander through language to avoid what I really mean.
I just want to kiss you again. I just want to breathe the air out of your mouth.
I want the air that was inside your lungs to be inside my lungs.
I want to wake up in the middle of the night and see the softness of the back of your head. I want to kiss it gently and then pull you towards me. I want to be gentle.
I want to dance with you in a dive bar, follow you to the bathroom, and against a dirty wall and better judgment, swallow you whole, kiss you hard and desperately. I want to be hungry.
I want you to crush me.
I want you to destroy me.
I want you to utterly fucking decimate me.
God, I just want you.
Lay on top of me in a stupid open field that doesn’t even exist around here.
Take off your shirt. Take off my shirt so the sun burns us.
Punch me in the face until my nose gushes and
then kiss me with an open mouth until my chest gushes and
Liz Clayton Scofield is a tender-hearted queer, a public crier, and a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and thinker. They're 70 percent water, 100 percent heart, and they wear it on their sleeve.