honey, by andrea gibson

She keeps her makeup in the ceramic bowl of bullets beside a jelly jar full of gardenias on an old dresser in Mississippi
Where outside tomato plants grow in the bellies of old boats and she carries a knife just in case she finds something she wants to carve her name into
I swear to god if I had an Adam’s apple I would tell her to peel it and take a bite
Meaning this time I am not turning back 
I am not turning in
I am turning over every leaf of all my leaving
I am moonlighting as the moon light

My shine is working overtime just to hear her call me ‘honey’
It makes me feel like the bee’s knees
Like I could finally lose my past like the keys to the getaway car
Like all my fucking up might finally be out of gas
Like there will be no more war fought in my name
What if my name is nothing but ‘honey’?

Do you realize I gave up on this in my twenties
You were the first thing I ever wrote on a vision board
I cannot wait to tell you the truth better than I have ever told the truth before 
And no that does not mean that I’m going to tell you that you look like Marilyn Monroe
But you do
and it makes me want to run
For president
Jesus fucking Kennedy

Do you have any idea how gorgeous you are when you’re tripping
Literally tripping
I have never met anyone more clumsy
You walk into a room and turn every head when you crash to the floor
And I’m like ‘that’s my girl!’
That’s my girl with the busted lip and no she’s not embarrassed that’s a sunburn she already had from my moonlight

Now bring me a Shirley temple
I’m going to trampoline every inch of cement in this town
And she’s going to teach me how to bounce back
Mixing her southern polite with her New Orleans fuck-off-honey

I wanna hear every story about your whole life
Tell me again about your ghetto blaster birthday cake 
Tell me again how you were master pumpkin carver 
Tell me again how you’ve never ever been to therapy 
Why does that turn me on

You have a friend who tattooed the words “you wish” on her ring finger
I have a friend who pulled out her tampon on the streets of manhattan and threw it at a misogynist cop
We are perfect for each other

Come drink like a fish in my desert city
I want to be the fairy in your Irish pub
I want to be your pretty boy 
I want you to tell all your friends you’re out of my league so I can slap you high five when I’m sliding into home

So when I start writing down our love in public poems 
You know you can burn all of my books if I don’t live up to my word 
If you ever have any doubt that I am going to live up to the altitude of your highest hopes, remember it was for you that I overcame my fear of flying
For you that I learned the ropes of rescue remedy
do not under any circumstances rip off the top of the bottle and start chugging it like booze
You’ll freak out everyone on the plane
And you don’t need enemies at 30,000 feet trust me
You just need to know this is the first time I’ve ever done this without looking for an exit row 
And I’m pretty sure my seat can’t float but I’ve already fallen from the sky for you 
Already said no to the parachute 
Already told my mother you curse like a sailor and you love like the war is finally over and you have just come home and you are running down the dock in the harbor and you’re screaming my name
You’re screaming “honey”
and I’m screaming “don’t trip”
and you’re screaming “honey honey”
and I’m screaming “baby don’t fall down”
I am running for your red lips
I am running for your red heart
With my red heart
Red as a Mississippi sunset


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