Author: Kristie Shoemaker

Kristie Shoemaker lives in Brooklyn. Her work has been published in Metazen, Affectionate, and Human Parts. She can also be found on Tumblr and Twitter.

the only cure for a stomach ache is teen pop music from the 00s

every time i clutch my stomach in pain –
head hung deep into a toilet, or trashcan, or out of a window
you rub my back and quote arrested development and tell me it’s ‘our nausea’

our nausea
does your stomach actually hurt or are you just a compulsive liar

next time you say ‘our nausea’ i am taking you to a doctor
i don’t care if i am sweating, crawling on my hands and knees until they bleed
stopping every five minutes to take a break and vomit on a lone tree awkwardly
    sprouting from concrete

if they can’t confirm you are actually in pain through exhausting tests and boring
    questionnaires
i am pushing play on the tiny boom box i secretly carry around in my bra
and jojo’s ‘leave (get out)’ will scream from my breasts

red

my roommate buys fruit he never eats
it’s shoved to the back of the fridge
like an unwanted child
to rot out the remainder of it’s existence

there is a plastic container of strawberries
begging for my attention
i am these strawberries
begging for your attention

i am crushing them between my fingers
my hands are red and sticky
i pretend it is blood
like the congealed drops resting on my thighs

i am standing in a puddle of guts
both human and not
and i feel satisfied
because now i have your attention

everything tastes like the stale beer
sitting next to my bed
i don’t hate myself enough to drink it
not yet at least

you always laugh at the most inappropriate times

you are walking to the laundromat
with a bag piled embarrassingly high full of clothes
because you had more important things to do for the past month
you are also out of underwear
you laugh because this pile of clothes resembles a mountain
stained with blood and coffee and ‘mysterious white blotches’
you laugh because you’ve let it go on this long

the light says you can cross
the only reason you knew it was ok was because the people around you started to
    move
you cross the street and the unnoticeable cracks in the pavement open
as if they were waiting just for you
bras and panties and your favorite black dress you never actually wear go flying into
    the sky
you fall into the hole
you laugh because it feels like the earth is trying to eat you
you laugh because now everyone can see just how lazy you’ve been

your mom would be disappointed in you for not taking better care of yourself
she will also be angry that you’ve fallen into the earth
because you were supposed to call her ten minutes ago
you begin to claw your way out of the canyon
that has opened between the subway station and mcdonalds
your nails start to bleed and your muscles ache from pulling your body weight
you are disappointed in yourself for not working out more

as you finally drag yourself out of this giant mouth
you roll onto the hot black pavement in the middle of the street
you feel a burning consuming your insides
you feel like you are melting
you laugh because this reminds you of the time you put your grandmothers
    tupperware in the microwave
and it melted into a warped ugly unusable thing
you laugh because you tried to pass it off as ‘art’ in your 3D design class to impress
    your professor
because even though he was balding he was cute in the way that something is not cute

you try to get up and collect your clothing
because people are honking and screaming at you to stop being a drama queen
you realize the burning hurts so bad that you can’t move
you see a teenage girl walk out of the mcdonalds and straight towards you
she pulls out her cell phone
you laugh because you think she is calling 911 but really she should call your mother
you laugh because she says ‘i need to instagram this’

you fall into a hysterical fit because she says ‘hashtag no filter’