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Sample Poems by Amanda Forrester

Spring Cleaning

In Kondo mode
I clean out my closet,
toss articles from my past:
skinny jeans
and strapless bras, empty
purses and my favorite ripped tank top
that shows too much side boob.
If it doesn't bring me joy
it goes in a Glad bag.

Each morning I stare
at what I used to be
hanging in my closet
and how I used to feel
and wonder what to wear to work
with so many sizes too small
for this back porch, so many
stretch marks in stretchy pants
and shrink back from the Calvin Kleins
I just cannot part with.
Yes, they are two sizes too small.
Yes, they show my fupa.
Yes, they remind me I
have a fupa
and c-section scars
and stretch marks
and a size ten ass with hail damage.

It feels good, this purge
like popping-a-pimple-good:
it hurts at first
the thought
of squeezing, the pus like liquid fat
then the throbbing
then the throbbing subsides
like an ebb tide;
what's left is room
to think of all the tacos
and bullshit I have swallowed
between size two low-rise boot cuts
and elastic waists sweet
enough to hide a camel toe.

Unsaid Happys

I had to look at my birth certificate
to see when you were born.

A happy birthday wish from you could crush
me like an oak falling on a steel toe.

You're dead now.

You promised me in palliative care
a vial of your ashes.

Your eighth wife broke
your promise, so she is like you that way.

Mom cried when I told her you died.
I don't know why

I only cried when your
hospice nurse asked me to tell you

it's okay to die over the phone
and I felt like you did love me

until your brother
said you could not hear me anyway.

Ordinary Day: Controlled Chaos

TV on
it says to me:
Ten confirmed dead.

I need to put Dawn
on the shopping list.
Coffee cooling, I light up.
He says,
Mom, I need your advice
and I listen.

TV says
Ten more injured.
This girl, he says, is the one. The one.
Her dick is bigger than mine.
I say, okay.

TV says
critical but stable condition.

I take a sip and a draw, the smoke
burns my eyes the coffee burns
my throat and I think
and I say
we need more dish soap.

I Fasted for the Flies

No one expected what the wolves would bring.
Houseflies hover, cover the bodies.
When the first kid dies,
to celebrate, they pound the beers.

Peeking out from the sheet
(names removed to protect the guilty)
Do you remember this trend?
It'd be great if you could
stop blaming the dead.

Which side are you on?
The difference
between the sun and a full moon:
one you can walk on,
the other you hide from.

I only want to hide,
not save the world
or even one person. not even me
There is no capturing
a tsunami in a thimble.

I should try a new look, they say.
There are eight things my eyes
are trying to tell me. Eight things
I am running from.

I am not interested in the cause
not anymore -
just the symptoms
and new eyeliner will fix that up.

Forget the past, try something new.
Upload your latest selfie.
If only I learned to cry.