Chronic Nausea By Audrey Lee

Chronic Nausea

I am jealous of the girls
whose carved fingernails curl into fists.
They are God’s girls and have flesh
on their bones, something in their hearts
like church chimes on a bright Sunday –

He was a Christian, a good old
gasoline boy. He jostled over to me,
swaggering and telling of
what layer of hell I could end up in.

Meanwhile my hands thread away at a wood loom:
I weave a girl I wish to be –
I tell him to drown himself in the lake over the hill,
let his bluntness fossilize to be found.

So I wonder why I am gnawing away at toothless gums,
why I am kissing castor oil lips
of a girl that I have only read about
in library sanctioned pages. Where she wouldn’t do this,

the police dig up a body from the water
a few days later. I am not sure if my skin after a shower
looks the same, or when I am bloated
with the pregnancy of a small apple in my stomach.

There’s a graveyard. There’s a hymnal, there’s
a pale girl. She doesn’t know which she should
be asking more of. This is fine,
I tell myself under the shadow of
a bell tower and a steeple.

By Audrey Lee


Audrey Lee will be attending Franklin and Marshall College this coming fall. She is the winner of the 2016 DeSales University Poetry Contest and her writing has been recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and Columbia College of Chicago. Her work has been featured in or is forthcoming from Teen Vogue, Rookie Magazine, The Ellis Review, and Paper Swans Press. Her chapbook Unknown Futures is forthcoming from Red Paint Hill Publishing in 2018.

Leave a Reply