In Lieu of Our Third Anniversary

by Alexa Doran

I cancel the pina colada. I repeat sex
has lost its shadow
. o brunch buffets, how

do you refuse to keep anything secret?
all those lukewarm sunny-side no-surprise

blisters left to fester in the fluorescents,
no one bothering to bouquet anything,

and yet. I want to learn to expose myself
to the teeth of all men who want in, who

approach me as bounty, not sin. Forget
boundaries, let them dribble and scuzz

my skin, what has saving myself got me
but divvied like ham hocks into Ziplocs?

Miss me with the fang, the puncture,
whatever phallic fucking gesture men

like you think I deserve. You don’t ask
how my son likes his bike or kindergarten

or the trip to Legoland where he pooped
on every ride, so happy he couldn’t pause

to wipe off the dank of diarrhea creasing
his thighs or the other moms’ side eyes.

You want me to owe you something. Here,
where you left me, with half a scarab, half

an endless flagellate, legs on pointless legs
scurrying into the forever, and you want

more. My hand to scuff the chalkboard
raw, so nothing but dust slates the dawn.

Alexa Doran recently completed her PhD in Poetry at Florida State University. Her full-length collection DM Me, Mother Darling won the 2020 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Prize and was published in April 2021 (Bauhan). She is also the author of the chapbook Nightsink, Faucet Me a Lullaby (Bottlecap Press 2019). You can look for work from Doran in recent or upcoming issues of PleiadesWitness, Salt Hill Journal, and Gigantic Sequins, among others. For a full list of her publications, awards, and interviews please visit her website at


Photography by: Amy Perring