Colleen Louise Barry

Ex Future Lives

You’re too old to believe your mouth
can make the shape of a moon. You cut your face
with the problem of this.
The problem
with death is that it is
without problem and very uncomfortable.
Death is just the thing we’ve spent
our lives avoiding. Yes, unfortunately
in the future there is war.
Nobody knows where their ears
have nested inside of but their mouths
stay glued to their skin along
with all the other important breather holes.
We try to sleep through it.
I sharpie my name to the back of your eyelids
so your future dreams are flavored me.
We’re feeling like I don’t remember
what we’re supposed to feel like in the future
something mushy and soft. After all this
shopping for duvet covers and pencil grips.
After all the girls
is all the Nair acidifying future August
that would otherwise be so sweet.
The night of our future makes this
seem dramatic. Really this future
we are refrigerating toward
is just a machine we’re almost done building.
I’m eating an orange. It candies my hands
bright smell for hours and hours.
At night in the future
the trees are darker than the sky.
They don’t splay like the wires
spazzing out by our feet
or yearn toward
a passing human’s idea of god.
They’re just quiet trees.
The trees they’ve always been
very quiet.

Colleen Louise Barry is an artist, teacher, and writer based in Seattle, WA. Her comics, illustrations, and poems appear or are forthcoming in jubilat, The Rumpus, The Tampa Review, H_NGM_N, and other places. A chapbook of drawings and poems, Sunburn / Freezer Burn, is available from smoking glue gun (2014). Another chapbook, The Glidden Poems, made out of paint sample swatches from Home Depot, is forthcoming from dancing girl press (2015). She teaches art and writing at Hugo House and Seattle ReCreative. Come say hi: !