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OMEGA | Karissa LaRocque
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Karissa LaRocque

11 Dec Karissa LaRocque



The way I feel is a muscle
Whose anatomy
I don’t understand

I heard it was gay
To move to the village
I heard it was gay to sleep with your window open
To have lots of vines
To fold your hands so carefully
To drink San Pellegrino in excess
To have a large, dirty mirror

It didn’t make a difference—
I closed my window
Broke all my fingers
Couldn’t hold the San Pellegrino
It spilled everywhere

I asked the dirty mirror:
How does this look from the outside?
What is going to happen to this feeling?

I heard being tough was hot so I took a selfie of my butt
In the dirty mirror
Holding hydrangeas
Which I bought for my sister
It got thirty likes, which isn’t bad
It hit thirty-nine and I thought:
I left out of respect
I am alone because of respect
Eventually I realised I sure could use a vacation from respecting myself

I stood in the middle of the karaoke dancefloor,
Thought I heard her wanting to slow dance
To the mess of our friends’ Friday nights
I stood in front of her bathroom mirror
Thought I heard my collarbones filling back in

I stood outside, and wanted to be more myself than ever before—
My whole body against the pull of the seasons
It got cold so I went back inside

I want to burn the bed of my garden
Like the blueberry fields outside my home town
Make the soil darker
I want to set my actual bed on fire
Make that soil darker
Change the chemical pH of the sheets
I want to be on the dancefloor
Planting seeds in holes I burn with a lighter
Closing my eyes in the karaoke lights of your 5am bathroom
Braiding vines out of my broken window
Pouring San Pellegrino over my fingers

I feel my muscles thicken
As we get older
When a car passes me
On the drive home
With one headlight
Burnt out
I wink back
I close both eyes
I flex my love for you
I raise a single hand


Karissa LaRocque recently moved to Montréal and is still worried about it. Her work has appeared in The Dalhousie Review, GUTS, Zettel Magazine, 7Mondays, Joypuke, and phil. You can find her at @_karissy.

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