"You can't plan your life around someone."
No, you can, as long as they pinky promise
to not shapeshift into an alligator
when you turn your back, death rolling
through your laundry, turning your old shirts
into sentimental rags. And as long as
the Philodendron they gave you
totally outgrows its pot, so you can dance
on the rubble of that pretty terracotta one,
turning their extra couple bucks into dust.
And as long you're still a woman
when it's done, vocal chords thumping
of appreciation for a love turned sour;
a feminine heart bubbling
as it beats in a puddle of Sour Monkey.
A woman fully realized
knowing she can plan her life around
whoever the hell she pleases, as long as
she shows herself the tenderness of a zookeeper
when the gator chomps
and the plant fucking dies
and it's time to fetch the pieces.
Callie Crouch is a graduate student at Saint Joseph's University pursuing a Master's degree in Writing Studies and former Editor-in-Chief of the university's literary magazine, the Crimson and Gray. Her work appears or is upcoming in 14 journals and anthologies, including Coffin Bell, Roanoke Review, Pinky Thinker Press, and Hive Avenue Literary Journal. Callie lives and writes in Philadelphia.