Before Poems by Clare Paniccia

Girl Talk

we fight all of the time about useless
like who has to scoop the litter or
that maybe today I am being over sensitive;
well, so what if I am –
I was made with a vagina so I should be
over sensitive to everything, right?
or maybe I am just being a bitch because
I feel like it
that’s what girls do, right?

when we have sex I sometimes feel
inadequate, like
I should know better about the way a body
can move
but that’s what girls think, isn’t it?
that’s what all girls think –
with their fucking brains when really
they should just be closing their eyes and
giving it up,

I’m afraid to leave home with you,
sometimes I miss it more than I should
miss it a little, because it is mine
instead of ours
maybe I am selfish,
because that’s what girls are, right?
thinking too much about what things mean
instead of what they don’t,


you had red eyes so red
from all the crying
but my eyes were white white

you had eighteen tissues
all crumpled
like small
underneath your pillow

and you asked questions questions
so many questions
and i laughed
ha ha
laughed and laughed


Well, we were all supposed to be
adults, by now Supposed to have

jobs and money and fat 401K plans
Vacations, hotels, solid hearts and

possibly solid futures I think I lost
the bet, lost it all, a gamble Silly

to gamble away pens and pencils,
a drab outlook, but nonetheless I

can put stock in the little things,
like semantics and the importance of

having things to care for – wasn’t
that the goal anyway? Caring for

the parts that exist outside of you
with their own separate hearts and

their little hands and feet, that I don’t
have but others do – you do, don’t

you find success in small jackets and
your sudden rebellious nature? Because I

don’t have or have not I can see into
the next year, maybe two, and it’s

all filled with choices I made one,
maybe two years back, the choices

of heart versus head versus skill
versus bone and now I am paying

with the money I do not have, yours
will hold me in My ticket to my thirties

and maybe the little things that I
am sure I will find at the bottom

of tea mugs and lost between pages
drawn upon when I was seventeen.

Profile: Clare Paniccia