I Guess I’m Allergic to Benadryl Now. and two more, by Mary Simmons (she, they)

The things I set on fire, I set on fire.
I don’t drink, but Dan forgets
I stole a sip of his beer, twice,
and probably will a third time
if I don’t become the forest first.
chivalry isn’t dead in white sharpie
on the brick wall SHE’S A BUTCH.
I dump packets of sugar in my mouth
when the floor abandons my feet,
and I know I’m in a car on the way home
from Columbus but I don’t know
where I am, and the white fog
is animation cells of my face contorting
into all the different women
I will never be. Birch branches snap
under the sleeping weight of me.
Soon, this blaze will spread
to even the river I promised to love,
and I will walk into the woods
while the bass thumps from the other side
and my wrists tick off the minutes
in time with spinning wheels.
There’s light enough
for all these rooms.

Waxing // Waning.
In the last woods with a finch in its throat,
lovers become lovers.

Lovers become trees in shadow.
Shadow trees become wolves when a girl strays.

When a girl strays from the path, she becomes a tree.
Even the maples know sickness.

Even the path knows crunch, a haunted timbre.
When she grieves, a girl crunches wolf bones.

When a girl eats wolf flesh, she grieves.
It is not the same as this.

Thawing is not the same as little moons.
When we turn off the lights, lovers burn into bark.

When the forest burns, a girl cries.
A girl is bones is trees bones is more wolf than girl.

Muzzle is frankincense is girlhood.
When a girl teeths, she devours whole villages of grass.

Whole villages of grass timbre falling in love.
Falling out of love grieves for a girlhood.
Girlhood sickens flowers smooth.
Wolves stray from the flesh of girlhood.

Wolf shadows thaw girl bones.
When a girl becomes a maple, she muzzles the moon.

A girl frankincenses wolf grass.
A girl crunches girlhood with haunted burns.

When girlhood cries, a wolf with a finch in its throat
becomes a lover.

I float my rage down the river, bumping against stones. It is still cold out. Not knowing the names of every tree in this wood can bring me to tears. I’ve pricked myself on musk thistle just to pierce this numbness. Isn’t it funny, what can go to sleep inside you? My fingers tremble too much to strike a match. If there were cinders, they’d wail for me, too. The crows are knocking at heavens again. When it rained, the river flooded, and my rage set every forest on fire until I knew, too, what it is to be let go. The white blossoms in the trees smell like dog breath, and I’m too tired to fight.

Mary Simmons is a queer writer from Cleveland, Ohio. She is a poetry MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University, where she is the managing editor for Mid-American Review. She has work in or forthcoming from One Art, Moon City Review, tiny wren lit, Yalobusha Review, Whale Road Review, and others.