In my dreams, you’re bright balloons. No, you’re a ring of thorns,
Forming a halo–no, choking me. Choking me.
I dream you release the tightness in my chest–
No, no, you’re the tightness in my chest, the boa constrictor
Winding around my ribs, in my dreams you are nothing
But skinned knees, bruised knuckles, but I know,
I know you are worse, you are red-pink-white scars
Littering my thighs, arms now. I dream you are toxins
Dripping out of my arms in comically red droplets, perfect
Little droplets framing bluish veins and goosebumps.
Unzipping my veins, letting the seams unfurl into redness,
Deep, rich reds unfolding so messily onto my arms,
Spilling, so lovely, onto my stitched-up arms, I love you, I love you,
You’re beautiful—no, no no no no no no no no no no no
You’re ugly. You’re ugly and scarring and sad and pathetic
And I hate you. I hate you so much it blurs the line with love.
In my dreams, I love you. When I wake up, I want to love you.
I want to love you so much I almost do.
Love doesn’t conquer everything, but it
Lets me conquer you.
By Odelia Fried
Odelia Fried is a student, poet, and actor based in NYC. Her work can be found in The Fem, Cleaver Magazine, Melancholy Hyperbole as well as other literary magazines. Her passions include gender identity, Judaism, adolescence, and the intersections of the three.