Two Poems by Sarah Jean Alexander


the chair i am sitting in sprouts a fifth leg
and i feel shaky and imbalanced.

the sky turns from blue to green.

there is a small child sitting cross legged
in front of me, facing me.

i remember seeing him yesterday
in a different room, standing.

someone behind me starts to cry.
i don’t turn around.
i stare at the boy from yesterday.

he asks,
‘when did i arrive?’
he looks up at the now yellow sky and speaks again.
‘was i late?’

i reach out my hand but i can only
graze the tip of his nose with my fingernails.

part of his nose falls away as his nostrils
become larger and blacker,
creating two holes in the direct center of his face.

three seconds later a faceless child sits
cross legged in front of me.

he speaks again, but this time with his hands.
‘the sky looks like the sea today.’

above our heads the yellow has morphed
into a brownish orange as blue hints at the corners,
threatening a comeback.

i look back down at a pair of legs,
crossed at the ankles,
staring at me
like a flesh formed bow.


your dinner party was weak.
i wanted to tell everyone the story
of how i met you.

how i picked you up–
you were a hitchhiker–
i picked you up off the side of route 7.
you said you totaled your car about two miles up the road.
you said your phone was dead.
you said you just needed a ride to the nearest gas station.
before you got out of my car
you said you ‘needed to borrow like,
ten or fifteen dollars to place a phone call
and figure out how to get home.’

i thought you were attractive and
we had good conversation in the car.
you seemed to have a positive outlook
on the day, despite the wreckage you owned
in a ditch somewhere a couple miles away.

i thought you were attractive and
we had good conversation in the car,
so i lent you a twenty.

you got out of my car
and walked around to my window and said,
‘you wear too much makeup.
i made everything up.
don’t you feel stupid.’
and you ran in the opposite direction.
you didn’t even go inside the gas station.

i began to think you made the whole thing up.

i ran into you a year and a half later
in the food lion parking lot.
you didn’t skip a beat and said,
‘how have you been, man?!
i never thought i’d see you again!’

you appeared to have gotten even more attractive.
i had started to wear less makeup.
you invited me to a dinner party at your place
later that night.

everyone was mid-twenties but
i could definitely tell that these were
your friends from high school.

your place seemed nice.
i hung out with your dog the whole night.

i couldn’t figure out why you stole twenty dollars from me
or why you asked if i felt stupid
or why you ran away.

i couldn’t figure out why you invited me to a dinner party.
maybe you felt guilty.
maybe you felt nothing.

but i kept thinking
‘speak up
speak up
speak up’
so i told all of your friends,
one by one,
how i picked you up when you were a hitchhiker
a year and a half ago.

things got weird.
so i went home
and painted my face.

Profile: Sarah Jean Alexander