“For Sylvia’s Sake” and Other Poems by Sarah A. O’Brien

For Sylvia’s Sake

If Plath were alive today, she’d tell me,

Screw him. Hard.

Then move on.

If you do not tie yourself to anything,

You cannot be surprised when you float away.

If Plath were alive today, we’d laugh uproariously

Over men so threatened by female power,

They flee from silver-tongued shadows of it.

Shadows that offer shade to undeserving rogues.

If Plath were alive today, we wouldn’t go anywhere

Near the kitchen. Instead, perhaps a stroll through

Boston Common, people-watching and guessing

Who is in love with whom, whose heart had been

Recently broken.

Astral-crossed Abyss

Our love is at aphelion:

Outer corners of our chocolate-coated galaxy beckon.

Been light years since my craters have felt full as

The moon—and only when sitting opposite the lawyers’ son,

A star gazing from a distance.

Our love is at aphelion:

This is no small matter.

We began with a Big Bang, but

The death of stars as bright as ours

Will end in a black hole, pulling me back

And back again, until

arriving at the event horizon.

Point of no return address on a letter from you.

My Astronomy professor said dark matter

Is a diversion from mathematical error;

Kepler, too, can strike out on three,

But the only mass I know is missing

Used to lie in the space between my arms.

Airing Out Inhibition

A day of grandeur—

Sagging socks show some life,

Hanging out in pairs, clothes-line company

Beside your best friend’s boxers.

He should probably stop skinny dipping

In your neighbor’s pool, but he’s never been fond

Of fences, anyway.

All that remains in your basket:

Purple bikini, dryer sheets, promises unkept.

You strip, folding shirt and shorts before

Putting on the string swimsuit, scaling your neighbor’s

Fence, and flinging yourself into the deep end.

You surface smiling.


IMG_4011Sarah A. O’Brien recently graduated from Providence College with a degree in Creative Writing. For the past year, she has served as Managing Editor of the literary journal, The Alembic. Sarah’s work has previously appeared in Every Writer’s Every Day Poems, The Screech Owl, Snapping Twig, and is forthcoming in Unbroken Journal. Follow her adventures @fluent_SARAcasm.

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