"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison

Fever Dreams and other poems

Fever Dreams and other poems

Fever Dreams

we rule the world

Karen crushes a Starbucks cup
against her forehead
& lets out a blonde battle cry

invisible doormen part the gates to our kingdom
where inert men swing from coat hangers
under the light of a hundred halogen suns

we bite our lips at a new line
of epidermal fabrics
whose souls can be found on ice
& ordered like lobsters 

we rule the world 

Karen buys her beau on Visa
& jokes toothily about a time
when the men could buy her



Of Love & Domino Sugar

the sugared ruins of the Brooklyn refinery
were laid to waste for us on the waterfront

at seventeen it was easy
believing in a boy with a machine-
fed hand that touched me
even more perfectly than his whole one

& the sugar man ghosts paid no mind
as they waited to punch the clock

we lost jacket buttons
& suckled glass pipes until
our eyes rolled into The East River

one morning I found him colorless
impure, and slipping through pinholes
in a paper bag that I could never carry



He Finds Me Asleep

under the light of a glass tv
the arms of indica and Tanqueray
hold me steady as the blue-beaded night
spills into the open fissures of my dreams

my eyes bob heavy in the mutinous sea
of a magic-eight ball and I float until
the peal of a car alarm carries me halfway
back from a place of my creation 

my Comanche man meets me
at the border where I sleep
to dance his jaunty dance in time
with the whir of my ceiling fan

I wake to find him 
unzipping himself from the night shift
just to pull the light’s ripcord

Laura Hoffman is a United States Marine Corps veteran and graduate student attending The University of Tampa's MFA in Creative Writing program. Hoffman's most recent work is forthcoming or appears in: 2River, The Ibis Head Review, Atomic Style Society Magazine, Left Hooks, and Flypaper Magazine. Hoffman is also the winner of The 2018 Wainright Award for Poetry.

Cover photo by Sylvie Tittel on Unsplash

After the asking and getting of the things

After the asking and getting of the things