by Alicia Turner
concrete: “characterized by or belonging to immediate experience
of actual things or events.”
hi, i’m concrete. sorry. i’m a-concrete. i’m ali-concrete. okay,
i’m alicia, i’m mattress top. i’m matter, this matters-matters,
i’m watching a film of a film, and i’m the conman
conning you out of knowing what you want when you want it.
sorry- let me turn myself into concrete, let me- concentrate.
con-concrete control myself- let me start over:
i’m in the front seat when i should be in the back.
i’m living on purpose. i’m living despite my-concrete.
my friend tells me my hair matches the stop light
and keeps on driving.
my eyes are traffic lights and the traffic.
i lick the liquor store off of my lips and thank god,
for the first time in five years,
that i am broken.
i tell my friend that he needs to break, he says “you break it, you buy it”
and i break like a habit, like an inconvenience, i can cheat my way out of anything, make room in store aisles, in line, always cheat myself, walking inside the con-con convenience store, i overhear someone say that
“they don’t like the dark – no one does.”
and, suddenly, i’m sitting in the dark, on screen, listening to my boyfriend fuck his girlfriend, and the girlfriend isn’t me, and i should be okay with sharing, really, sharing space, but the space is so limited, (con-con-con convenience (convenience stores, under microscope, open 24-hours, (don’t look at me, i’m not here, (sheets cover me like convenience, (co-ins, i’ll pay with this body (pardon my concrete, concrete, con-contradiction, (i’m asking you to keep the change.
hi, a confession, i’m changing my tone, pressing hands in wet concrete, and everyone i love turns into concrete, and
(why do they have to do that?
(what-why do I have to mold them, walking contradictions
(and am left to conserve nothing but concrete and concrete
and concrete into concrete into concrete,
(and sink into cheap wine and time,
(and i close my eyes for a moment, like a restless driver, in the wrong lane, (carving out time for them to carve into me?
(i can’t say my name but i can spell it in concrete.
the word ‘I’ bonds this body to itself and hardens over time.
talking feels a lot like listening. and listening feels a lot like learning. and learning feels a lot like concrete that I can’t push through unless i’m already sunk- sorry.
Alicia Turner holds an MA in English and is a grant writer & storyteller. She can be found writing confessional, conversational poetry in an over-priced apartment somewhere in WV. Her work is featured or forthcoming in Four Lines (4lines), CTD’s ‘Pen-2-Paper’ project, FreezeRay Poetry, Drunk Monkeys, Luna Luna, Defunkt Magazine, époque press, Space City Underground Magazine, The Daily Drunk, Sybil Journal, ExPat Press, Rejection Letters Press, Screen Door Review, J Journal Literary Magazine, Sledgehammer Lit, Taint Taint Taint Magazine, among others.