Lizzo While Driving

In the car, while driving down the interstate at 65 mph, I will listen to Lizzo.

I didn’t used to like her. I had never heard of her a year ago. Then I went to a Pride Festival and thought, this is cool. I dig it. 


So now I listen to Lizzo.

I know what you’re thinking. Another white girl saying she loves Lizzo. But it’s not that I love her, or that I am her. We are very different–different body shapes and skin types. But I am afraid to take up space, and I guess that’s what I find amazing about Lizzo. She isn’t afraid. If a backup dancer got in her space, she would just shove her out of the way.

So I begun to appreciate Lizzo. 

My boyfriend broke up with me in April. Near Easter, which was ironic considering I’d started going to church to save our relationship. When I first heard Good As Hell, I contemplated crying. Giving up. Being one with my sadness. Why didn’t he love me enough? Had he moved on? How do I leave when a part of me doesn’t feel it’s over?

Sometimes I go faster than 65. Sometimes it’s nice to feel closer to the wind. And thrilling to feel close to chaos. 

Then quite casually I discovered Cuz I Love You. I remember going, again ironically, to church at night, where my writer’s group meets, and listening to her belt out “I don’t even wanna ho no mo.” And felt. Fuck. Me neither, Lizzo. I don’t want to be a ho no more. I just want to love him again. Or fall in love with someone else. Anything for that feeling.


It was snowing one night on the drive home. And of course, Lizzo was playing. Probably Truth Hurts, which is actually a pretty positive banger. I don’t feel bad when this song comes on. Which is probably how I ended up in the ditch, my car having hit a patch of snow on the interstate while I was going 30 miles an hour. 

I tumbled into the ditch. But the first thought that I had wasn’t for my ex. It was for myself. It was for my family. My mother, whom I hadn’t been speaking to. That gave me hope, because for months, I have played this game where I look for signs while driving. 



If this blue car passes me, he will get back with me.

If the light goes green in five seconds, he will call me.

If my favorite song comes on, at this exact second, he’ll love me again.


I waited. In the beginning, the signs didn’t come. My driving bets turned into debt. But as I gave up, I got better at the game. Knowing whether someone would pass me. Etcetera. By that time, he was long gone.

After the ditch incident, I drive slower. And listen to my ‘water songs’, or what I call Lizzo’s self-love songs. Soulmate, Coconut Oil, Fitness, Scuse Me. And yes, Water Me. It’s very hard to love yourself when you’ve been criticized your whole life and women are told that beauty and everything about us is transactional–that we can get things by giving up parts of ourselves. 

I am scared on the road, but I have my water songs to keep me company.


The Library

Sleeping in the library is not the best way to show your lover you’ve erased them.

Waiting restlessly, hoping for an apple from your mouth to mine, I move from chair to chair, breath bated.

But you know what I’m doing. I cannot play you, and it deepens the cut.

What am I to do? Who can love a childless, motherless woman? Someone who has no one, who drinks her coffee with cream, doesn’t even own a gym membership.

Hagia Sophia

You married me at Hagia Sophia.

Across the Mediterranean was your home. Across the Atlantic was mine.

The dress was nothing important. The hair was down in curls. I couldn’t wait to see you–I dressed haphazardly. I imagined you there, your slender body in a tux, waiting for me.

Take twenty steps, they said. Twenty steps to see your groom.

When you pulled out the ring, it was gold plastic with rhinestones. But I loved it, like you love a gift from a child. With compassion. Grace.

As the ceremony ended, my friend came up to me.

“I have two tickets to Iceland.”

I told him I’d love to go, but my honeymoon was right after. “Another time,” I smiled.

I chased you down and we made love on your old queen bed. Sometimes you tickled my hip, watched me laugh, watched me smile at you (I rarely do). We know it must end. We cannot be together, for we are bound for different things. I am bound for nonexistence, you are bound for the sky.

You pray to be good. I just pray we never say another goodbye.

To My Last Man

I lie in bed

paralyzed in warmth,

my calves aching from that ninety minute

walk through Louisville.

I lie, in fetal position, wondering about your voice recordings, the ones you send to me every night.


Men don’t seem interesting anymore.


Instead, I dream idly of sex with no one in mind. The act itself, an impulse that I no longer abuse. Instead, I think of your large dark eyes asking me, “What? What are you thinking about?” There is nothing striking but your eyes, and the way your whole face wrinkles when you laugh.


I know a part of me loves you.


I know a part of me feels nothing when you kiss my neck, just the rain from the clouds over us.


If my cold hand could wrap around your wrist, push your fingers into me, maybe I could feel something. The same thing I felt when you said, “I don’t want to wash the taste of you out of my mouth.” That thrill that made me jerk and burn.


We said we would be just friends

After we danced under the willow tree, our

Arms flapping, our

Cheeks laughing.


But never have I said words of love as I thrust into them.


Never has my lover been so afraid of God that he lost his desire in me.


To be away from you

To be with you but not in you

Is a half-life. To not feel your lips pressing on me, your angular hips against my soft flesh, is blasphemy.  


To my non-lover

I would adore it if you nuzzled into my cheeks,

I would gladly catch fish in the crick with you,

And I would not mind if you made me a soufflé

Or even just eggs.


But instead, your spooning is half hearted. The only thing I’ve caught is a cold,

And yes, you spent time making me coffee, but who doesn’t do that for all their one-night-stands?


Before I left your house, I turned on the faucet but you were out of water. A shame. I really needed a drink.


And There You Were

I went out with a new man the other day.

He had perfect teeth and luminous hair.

He had a cute earring and he was very charming,

But he wasn’t you.

I went out with another man, to forget my disappointment. And this one was strange, and he was kind.

He bought me dinner and held my hand, but it didn’t matter.

He wasn’t you.

Today I went out with someone else, someone I thought could be like you.

He was dark and handsome, went to school, and played the drums like you do.

But then I opened my heart to take him in, and there you were.

Taking up too much space, reminding me of your literal absence.

Tomorrow, I might move on

To someone new, who isn’t you, someone who might stay. But I think I’ll open the dark chest

Under my bed and pull out our love letters,

Reverently smooth over creases, read how deeply we cared,

Start to write your address on an envelope–

Then stop. And go to bed.

To Friend

I will always be second best, won’t I?
If Jesus played favorites with Peter, then I am the tax collector (no one loves a tax collector). If Pete Davidson loves Ariana Grande, then I am the weed and alcohol left behind—his first love he cast away. I am Melania, because Donald Trump only loves himself.
I wait in my little hole in the ground
To see what you will feed me,
If I will get meat and potatoes today
Or the same shaved chicken breast that’s
Sat in the fridge day after day.
And I wait, mouth agape, hoping you

Will feed me
Touch me
Kiss me
Or refrain from choking me
Because I’m already down.

Paul Ryan isn’t running for re-election (The Paul Ryan Diaries)

Note: This is an update to the Paul Ryan Diaries I started last year. It is long overdue, and I’m sorry. The narrator in no way expresses all my opinions but is a character based off of me. This is entirely fictional.

April 11th, 2018

Well, dear diary. We meet again. You have been my confidant but my enemy. I have no idea why I am even writing. Except there has been a lot of shit going on.

  1. I have two fucking one-year-olds. They want to cry all the time. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but my daughter’s name is Michelle. Paul got mad because he has a tiff with Michelle Obama. He says it’s because she married Obama, who is apparently a Muslim according to Republicans. I don’t think that’s the reason. I snooped in his phone, and he texted Schumer that he thought she looked glorious in her pregnancy photos. Don’t tell him I know that.
  2. I am graduating from college soon. At the age of 23. And my only object is to be the trashy Plainfield girlfriend who looks after the kids. I do love my children. Tucker is as mopey as Michelle.
  3. Paul is not running for re-election.


He said it. He consulted me. I think it’s pretty clear what has happened. The Prez looks as guilty as Mark Zuckerburg during the confessional hearings. Ha! As if Teddie Cruz is a priest. I miss making fun of Ted. The only thing he’s done worthwhile is like a porn tweet. 😦 I expected more (porn) from you, Ted. I expected more.

When the Speaker got home, we played a nice game of Twister, if you get my jist. 😉 Guess that’s not very subtle. We did it. I did it with my boyfriend. It was very good. I am a sex goddess. He told me so. He was in a great mood after announcing his retirement. He danced when he saw me.

He said, “Chloe. You are beautiful. Will you do me the honor…”

Here I froze. He wasn’t going to propose naked, was he? On the other hand, I quite liked the scene where Pierce Brosnan showers Halle Berry in diamonds while in a devilish position.

“…of having another baby with me?”

I could not find words. I was very disappointed that he did not want to marry me. In truth, I had already started a Pinterest board of wedding ideas. Kim Kardashian and Jane Fonda were invited. Kanye could fuck himself. I do not forgive him for the Taylor Swift incident.

“Paul,” I finally said. “Are you of this planet? I just gave birth–we both gave birth–a year ago. We got two freakin’ kids. The only way I pacify them is by shoving iPads down their throats and threatening them with Catholic school. Not like they understand, but it soothes me.”

“But you know I want a big family.”

“What, you want a repeat of the Duggars? You know how that shit ended. I am keeping my little friend, Miss IUD,” I concluded.

“Don’t I get to play a part in this?”

“You know how you compared fetuses to beans? Well, I like beans. In moderation. But there is a reason edamame is not as popular as wine and chocolate.”

“I consider children more like green beans,” he admitted.

“Do they have the bacon and grease in them?”

“No. I only have 6%-8% body fat, and I don’t want to lose my figure.”

“Then no children. There aren’t enough pots to cook them in,” I said.

“How many pots do we need??”


And then we went to bed. Well, I went on the sofa. Paul still has nightmares about Putin. Something about how he’s stealing all his stilettos and he has nothing to wear to the Zombie-themed prom.


It seems like a year since I fell in love with a girl
And broke up with her
All in one day.
It seems a year since I opened myself up to new opportunities,
With a person of the same gender.
But that’s all gone now.

It dawned on me that I would have to be
Touched, that I would have to be open to feeling her pulsating beneath me. That I would have to love the clitoris, the breasts…especially the sloping sides of her.
I could love the slopes, the curves, the cheekbones and the eyes.
I could love lips and hair. But could I love beyond the slopes, down there?