Old Desires – Aria Perez

At The Fair, 1994


At the fair I’m a winner.
At home I’m nothing

like that. At home
I’d like a space empty

of momma’s loud screams
and momma’s mean fists

so I crawl into a closet
and close my eyes so tight

they might get stuck that way,
but they don’t. At the fair

my wide eyes drink lights
and my ears gulp happy

sirens. It’s loud like angels,
not like her. I toss the ball,

the ball goes right
where I want it to,

the ball circles
the 100 point hole

like momma’s wedding ring
roundin the sink drain. Imagine

my control, a bitten bottom lip,
a prayer to gravity: let it go

my way this time. I could
live in that circling forever.





High in the loft of a barn
two small girls drop
lightbulbs for the sake
of shattering / to see
a swarm of glass / the light
in dust a galaxy / the new
knowing that they could break
anything / even themselves.



Panic Attack


Open your fists
like fireworks.
Inhale as if you
are smelling flowers
Consider it:
what a stranger
you make of you.



Portrait of an Artist on Seroquel


And with the night there is something like peace,
something lumbering in the dark out the window,
a wild animal or a guardian angel who mistook me
for a good idea. Let’s call it a bird. Let’s call it earth
tilled in my mind. A turning. An uprooting. I am full
of emptiness. It blooms inside of me making space
in the weeds, in the flowers, in the wild, gnarled
trees so fruitful I can’t keep up with harvest. Then
a sound inside the silence. An old desire. New growth.