Mallory Pearson

the pool has a shallow and deep end,

10 feet to the bottom, 4 feet to the top,

enough space to float on your back

and let the mosquitoes pick at your stomach

but too little air to breathe. i watched you from the ladder

and went under, a little drunk,

a little unprepared for being underwater in love

and surrounded by second skin.

september, still warm, the sky scrolls by

and i think about seances on the underside of the water,

the ripple right before the break.

there’s a lot of feeling in being a girl without fingerprints,

who touches and leaves no trace,

drowned in that stunted affection, that aimless doubt.

i drove to you and fell asleep at the wheel

now here we are, still talking about it,

that tragic pause where i was thinking about the bridge

and then i was wrapped around it.

maybe they say this place is haunted because

it was where i went to cry after you touched me,

where i slept with my mouth in my hands

or my hands in my thighs

or my candle between my teeth, dripping wax,

sealing my chest. every taste of the air

speaks of the trail of a blue jay,

lines of flight that cross and kiss and examine.

waterbugs move in these diagonal patterns

and the pool simmers, a pot waiting to be stirred.

september still, summer still,

that quiet deep-well bone-dry still,

that tragic way the bird falls asleep

at the edge of a cliff, where the winds meet,

and the bridge that kids say is where the spirits live,

stars cooking on the stove, pot of light–

that tragic way of looking at the dark

when you are afraid of what it holds inside.


Mallory Pearson is a 21-year-old painter, jeweller, and poet currently living in Brooklyn, NY. She has a great interest in spirituality, sexuality, and femininity, and spends most of her time quickly getting bored of new hobbies.