Author: Kayla Wheeler

Kayla Wheeler is a feminist writer from New Hampshire. Her work can most recently be found in FreezeRay, The Bohemyth, Potluck Mag, and We Will Be Shelter, an upcoming anthology from Write Bloody Publishing. She represented Slam Free Or Die at the 2013 National Poetry Slam, finishing in the top fifteen. Follow her @KaylaSlashHope

What I Really Need (Other Than A Fucking Drink)
             inspired by Tumblr

The next episode. A new season. More likes
on Instagram. More followers on Instagram.
A hip tattoo or an undercut. To tell you what a mess
I am. A bathtub filled with flower petals
to take a selfie in. A nap. Some weed in
a mason jar. Anything in a mason jar.
The wifi password. For one of these six guys
on OkCupid to commit already. A crop top
and a high-waisted skirt. High-waisted cutoffs.
To get high and wasted. A Band You Don’t Know
on vinyl. A decade late superstar suicide to pretend-
cry over. To promise you I’m not a nice girl.
More kale. Another cigarette. A crown of (fake) flowers.
Another packet of Splenda. Longer battery life.
To tell you I’m fine. For The Universe to fuck off.
A room full of red (cups). A sea of plaid
over shipwrecked bodies. Something to take
the edge off. Music, maybe. A midnight swim.
A song The Band You Don’t Know hasn’t written yet,
leaking into an internet ocean
I just might
drown
in.

Maybe I’m Telling You a Story or Maybe
This is the ‘About Me’ Section of My Online Dating Profile

the old woman at the assisted living home asks if my bug is dead.
i say what are you talking about she says you look like hell you know
a little cock ride never hurt anyone right there at the dinner table
she says this right in the middle of split pea and ham soup and i say
i knew you were crazy here’s your klonopin and the glass of white wine
the doctor lets you drink. i act like it doesn’t bother me but it totally does
that this woman with cataracts thicker than storm clouds can tell
i haven’t gotten laid in a year. maybe she is crazy after all and
maybe i’m a bombshell with a stethoscope and a sugar daddy (i wish).
i draw up her insulin, make her a bologna and pickle sandwich
on pumpernickel, paint another coat of Siren by OPI on her
osteoporotic nails before putting her to bed. i pinch the juiciest
flesh she’s got, drive the needle in. she doesn’t flinch. she’s used
to this, prefers it this way. calls the bruises ‘needle hickies’ and blows
me a kiss. when i leave the room i say bye and she’s like no
it’s never bye it’s always see you around so i say ok see you around
well come to find out they found her dead the next morning with
a painted hand up her nightgown and red lipstick on her dentures
and isn’t that beautiful? how the body accepts when it is time
to leave? to die in pleasure it created only for itself? yeah so obviously
I made sure to fuck a stranger that night. it’s not like me
i don’t normally do this
but it was in her honor you know? Anyway
in the morning as he was leaving my apartment he said bye and
i said see you around. i never did but i guess
it’s the thought that counts.

Ode To Mel B, Who Was Obviously The Best Spice Girl

How boring & typical
to take a group of women
and compare them but girl
you were Beyoncé
before Beyoncé.
Sitting elementary on the floor
of my parents’ living room,
mesmerized by your lime green
crop top and whatever
you meant by “zig-ah-zig ahhh”,
I forgot about my mouth
as I watched you, hands drawn
in double peace signs,
the opposite of weapon
but still a warning.
The way your sculpted
chest flexed when
you said girl powahh!
lit the fire in my tiny belly
that I would later
burn training bras in.
Daddy said a girl
can be whatever
she wants, but
I didn’t believe him
until you sang it
in your ten inch
elevator sneakers,
never not stomping.
I had to have those, too.
A girl’s gotta sprain her ankle
proper early on,
how else does
she grow up
to know to heal
the way a woman
heals, the constant
letting go of
almost-brokenness?
Mel, you taught me
the hard lessons,
patriarchy & the importance
of good hair, friendship,
leopard print pants.
And I’m sorry.
The day I forgot
the words to your songs
and replaced them
with the lyrics from
a mix CD some silly boy
made me, I found
the black tape
of your first album
yanked & coiled
in the corner
of my bedroom.
Now it is a flag
hanging from
my tongue.
I wouldn’t know
how to apologize
for it if I tried.