skewer my heart and roast it with marshmallows

noah carlin

I’ve got my own hang-ups about intimacy, 
            it’s never as charming as I’d like 
and when I’m not charmed I’m not amused—
            tell me, what’s the point in breathing and bathing 
and going through all of life’s nonsense 
            if you can’t find the best parts of it amusing
I mean, if you’ve been a broken-hearted sack of sadness
            for longer than you can remember what happiness
feels like anyway, why swing for the fences when 
             they’ll be built taller and larger and wider
than ever? Why do anything outside your comfort zone
            if it doesn’t really tickle your fancy?
That’s the great question if you’re ever out
            looking for it—the answer? Live to amuse 
yourself darling, little else will do. As for intimacy,
            I haven’t figured out the human aspect, but
nothing reciprocates like the feeling of skin against skin, 
            so my insatiable quest for something undefined
lumbers on, and I don’t see an end in sight.
          Probably because I’m flighty and pull away
the moment being vulnerable becomes a threat, 
          as if a whole lifetime depends on the next
few syllables and suddenly the whole wide world 
          is in the palm of my hands, and I get to spin it
backwards, forwards, frontside, downside, upside,
           backside, weaving all the time in the world
together and blurring the line between reality and dreams, 
            until intimacy is like dreaming, or dancing, or hiking, 
or food fights, or photo-ops, or coffee dates, or deep-eye staring, 
            or sideways glances, or smiles, or giggles, or a wave,
or like skewering marshmallows for survival 
            amidst the wilderness of a suburban backyard 
on whatever night of the week the person
            you love most in the world comes home, 
stares you in the face and asks how exhausting 
          existence was today, because whether you’re barking mad
or boiling over, they want to know what, why, how, and
            about everything you’ve got going on and what’s more,
they want to hear it tomorrow and twenty times
            over until the conversation’s been replayed again
and again like a favorite meal you somehow never
            get tired of, and that’s when you realize 
intimacy is carving deep grooves you didn’t know could
            grease together so effortlessly until something tweaks out
or into place at the wrong time or the right moment, 
            stumbles onto your path, rears back, and bitch-slaps
you hard enough to catapult your entire life to the wind and ask, 
          “Do you want to grab coffee, sometime?”

Noah Carlin is a senior at Florida State University graduating Spring 2019 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in English on the Editing, Writing, and Media track. He was born in Charleston, SC but grew up in Pensacola, FL. No other publications exist currently, but shout-out to The Southeast Review, FSU’s literary magazine. They’re great.