I eat a half dozen Funfetti cupcakes
& then one more
because I cheat on my diet

& I cheat on my girlfriend
in my imagination
only in my imagination
so far only in my imagination

I give the bro in the left turn lane
the middle finger when he cuts me off
because it feels so good to do it
to yell douchebag but not be heard
though my gut says that’s childish
& my guilt is immediate

If desire is weakness

If desire is pain
my knees are bruised
from running
from falling
down the hill
to an open-armed father
who is not really my father
but an old idea of my father
in which he does not criticize
my fade or my sweaters

If pain is weakness
leaving the body

what good is the body
what good is the body

standing steady like a home

what is home

what good is the body
that cannot learn
from its wrongs

how real is the body
that does not torture itself
in attempts to heal
that does not still listen to the mixtape
of six summers ago
upon leaving
or having been left

wondering what is the right thing
in a world full of right things
growing out of wrong things
with the ferocity of dandelions

untamed & shooting
through the middle of everything

Image credit:George Serbanescu

Lisa Summe was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, earned a BA and MA in literature at the University of Cincinnati, and an MFA in poetry from Virginia Tech. Her poems have appeared in Juked, bedfellows, Waxwing, Salt Hill, and elsewhere. Her first book, Say It Hurts, is forthcoming from YesYes Books in June 2020. You can find her running, playing baseball, or eating vegan pastries in Pittsburgh, PA and on Instagram and Twitter @lisasumme.