Cathleen Bota
YOU'RE AFRAID AND YOU SHOULD BE



I’m levitating above you in the early hours of the morning.
I can clap my hands and crack your sleep in two.
I’m so high above you when I fall, I’ll fall hard and smack our bodies
into a flattened
panqueque in your sheets.

Cuidado, cuidado
cuidado.

Who knows what incantations my assimilated tongue
will waggle into existence? I let it cluck back as far as it needs to.

I am not one and
I am not two things

but I am above your bed.

         Mira! Mira! Mira! Mirror!
         The joke’s on you.

I’m looking at your neck longingly like a third gen Puerto Rican Dracula,
and I want my blood back.

Those hairs on the back of your neck,
I call them to stand,
and I brush them back down with a Barbie comb
and I’ll do it again and again.
Repetition
is how you turn cute
into creepy.

I just want to whisper to all my selves
in the dark while hovering,
and I know it’s hard to be afraid,
to bear witness,
and while I’m not interested in rescuing you,
I’ll make a wager:

         I’ll show you my guts if you
         show me yours.





DIALING PSYCHIC TWIN



Reciprocally, I am gained and lost.
Abandoned by my psychic twin
I etch my body’s outline through dimensions
by flesh and fire and all the grit strewn from teeth and lungs,
but when I taste twin’s thoughts, it is undone.

Self is now an ingrown hair,
angry beneath the skin.

Psychic twin, please finish my sentences:
My body is just a house for ____.
When it crumbles, I will be reaching out for ____.
I will be reaching, I will be reaching. . .

Ring Ring
I keep your number behind my eyelids.

I am the body half-inhabited.
I call out to the void—
twin answers.
I explode.





Cathleen Bota is a multimedia poet, librarian, and Sailor Moon scholar in Orlando, FL. She is co-founder of the interdisciplinary reading series LITEROCALYPSE and poetry and graphics editor at specs.