|Publisher:||Central Avenue Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Trista Mateer is a poet from outside of Baltimore. Known for her eponymous blog, she is also the author of four full length collections of poetry, and won the Goodreads Choice Award in 2015 with The Dogs I Have Kissed. She is currently working as a freelance editor but still manages to spend most of her time Googling cheap air fare and writing poetry about things that don’t matter anymore.
Read an Excerpt
In The End
You Tell Me Whenever You've Met A Boy Your Parents Will Like (Which Is To Say, Any Boy With A Working Knowledge Of Suburban White Christianity)
Conversations about him always start the same way. You say, I want to marry a musician. I want to have five children. I want to be able to see my future unfolding out in front of me like an interstate map.
I usually don't say anything at all.
I juggle the names behind every other tongue in your mouth: Peter, Matthew, David, Adam. Each one comes with the promise of things I don't know how to give you.
The Baker's Lament
You know the way you feel right before the kitchen timer goes off and you pull something fresh and full of cinnamon out of the oven? That moment made up of waiting. Nothing exists but you and the clock and the promise of something sweet and warm.
That's how I feel right before you walk into a room. When I can hear your footsteps on the floorboards but you haven't quite reached the door. And in that moment, everything is fine. Everything is more than fine. Everything is dusted-flour fingertips and your sister's laughter down the hall. Everything is sugar-coated.
I know this isn't going to end well, but I don't think it matters. I'm still stuck in that moment right before the timer goes off.
Everything is perfect. Everything is fine.
I slept incredibly well before I met you.
Questions For Small Town Girls (Who Like Kissing Girls)
You Break The News Like Bread At The Table
By which I mean, we are in Panera when you bring up The New Boy and his holy, holy mouth. The endless possibility of him. The miracle of his breath on your skin and every assurance behind it.
You tell me that he kisses like security, like a vow, like a big church wedding with your mother crying and your father stoic, but happy.
You tell me that this doesn't have to change anything between us.
Your phone goes off and you smile the same way you used to when I brought you flowers or wrote you poetry. Fruit punch is staining your mouth red and for the first time, I wonder about the cost of tasting it.
In Which Fear Sleeps Between Us
In the produce section, I think I hear your name, but no one is around. I want to call you up right now and ask you to dinner.
I knew that I loved you when I started catching myself daydreaming about making grocery lists with you, rinsing romaine in your kitchen sink, knowing where your silverware drawer was without having to double check. I feel so lost today that all I want is to take your spare key from under the mat and make sure I still know where you keep your measuring cups.
I want to take a spill in aisle three just so I can run home to you and ask you to put your hands on me again. Like a bag of frozen peas, I want to press you up against everything sore.
Another Obligatory Poem Comparing A Girl To Something Consumable
So I thought I could walk away from love and it would let me. I thought distance might feel less like pulling on a rubber band until it snaps back — but take a look at this: see all the red on me?
I've been staring at your letter for two days. Opened it at the kitchen table, didn't even start crying until the third read-through. It doesn't sound anything like you. Or it does and I just don't want it to.
Does it make it better if I understand the anger, just not what you buried it in? Does it make it better if I miss you even after reading that?
I wrote you more poems than anyone else I ever kissed. I still held your hand after you broke my heart. You told me that love meant giving and giving and giving but at some point, all the plants drown. You never told me that part. We outgrew each other in angry, uncoordinated ways and I'm sorry for that.
If it helps, my chest still hurts when I think about your hands. If it helps, I'm not sure I even know how to let you go.
You said: most days I pity you more than I love you.
I just love you.
Young Love As A Whetstone
Love was a museum where we took down the art that was there before us and played masterpiece with all the empty space.
Google Searches On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown
cheap flights / sometimes I don't feel like a person / inability to leave my bed / inability to breathe / things are moving very slow but also very fast at the same time / symptoms of depression / how long do I have to sit in the sun before my brain starts working right again / cheap flights / can you buy NyQuil in bulk / top ten foreign cities to disappear in / cheap flights / how to explain anxiety to your mother / how to explain depression to your mother / how to explain sometimes wanting to kiss girls to your mother / what to do if you come out and your parents don't love you anymore / how to find the city farthest away from where you are currently at / cheap flights / how to pronounce Melbourne / deadliest animals in Australia / will wanting to die feel different in another country / does it matter
A List Of New Things
1. I had to ask for directions seven different times in LAX. It's a monstrosity built almost entirely out of anxiety. It's a shrine to nervousness.
2. I couldn't sleep for any of my twenty-four hour flight because I was worried I'd end up with my head on the stranger next to me or the flight attendant would want to ask me a question like, who are you traveling with? And I'd have to say no one. And I couldn't decide whether it was better to be awake and embarrassed or asleep and embarrassing. I kept doing that hypnagogic jerk thing over and over and I only know what it's called because you told me.
3. Yesterday I sat at a bar with a stranger and we practiced swallowing each other's accents.
4. Before I left, my mother said that she didn't care what I did in Australia, as long as I didn't get into the ocean because she's worried about great white sharks. Today I walked straight into the Pacific anyway. There are a thousand ways to get caught up in something's jaws.
5. Someone told me that despite the snakes and the spiders and the poisonous marine life, if we're judging by deaths caused per year, one of the deadliest creatures in this country is the European honey bee.
6. There's a constellation here called the Southern Cross that you can't see from the United States mainland. Every part of my life has pieces of you in it but this one.
I know we are both struggling with recognizing bad things and letting them go but I need you to know:
I am the bad thing. (I was not always the bad thing. Sometimes it was you. Sometimes it was just the two of us together.)
There were nights I was so jealous that the thought of you on your knees for Jesus made me upset. Baby, I don't think you understand the level of insecurity it takes for someone to want to write God angry letters.
Do you remember the days you were so afraid to lose me that you wouldn't say anything honest? You lived on eggshells, all pent up anger and swallowed arguments. People can't function like that.
A few days ago, I was walking past this amusement park by the beach. The front gate was the wide, smiling mouth of an enormous sun.
I couldn't remember the last time I'd been happy.
Avant La Haine
The best version of us is caught in a photograph where your arms exist permanently around me. Everything drips pink and gold in the sun as you laugh with your head back. I wear a dress covered in sunflowers and you hold me like a bouquet. Here, love gets to be hungry. Here, love never has its fill.
What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Leaving (What I Can Tell You About Leaving)
i. It is as hard to be the one who goes as it is to be the one who stays. People always talk about getting left behind, but nobody talks about how difficult it is to pack up your books and dig your bobby pins out of couch cushions. Every time you leave the house, it gets harder to walk back in. One day, you won't be able to.
ii. That is okay. It is okay to leave. It is okay to feel smothered by the weight of a life you didn't want or a relationship that doesn't taste the way you thought it would. It does not make you hard or disagreeable or unreasonable.
iii. Some people will leave. Some people are born flight risks. It is no shortcoming of yours that they cannot keep their feet on the ground. It is not your fault that they cannot seem to stand in place. They are not leaving you; they are just leaving. Realizing this does not make it better or worse.
iv. Some people will leave you. It will have everything to do with you and nothing to do with outside circumstances. You cannot sugarcoat it. You cannot dress it up and make it feel sweet or soft or warm. And it's going to hurt you. I know your instinct will be to beg them to stay, to unpack their bags for them, to curl up by their wandering feet-but people are going to leave you. That is okay too.
v. Whether you are coming or going, leaving or staying, you're a moving part of something. We're all moving parts of something. Sometimes other people will sync up with us for a while, but you're still on the right path for you whether you're ticking along it alone or not. You are not defined by the people you walk away from, and you are not defined by the people who walk away from you.
This Has Nothing To Do With You
Excerpted from "Honeybee"
Copyright © 2018 Trista Mateer.
Excerpted by permission of Central Avenue Marketing Ltd..
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