Soon to Be by Nic Alea

It didn’t help that I was stoned,

two days post heat exhaustion

wandering around your garden crying about figs

and witnessing my body crack like dry earth,


Arthur Russell was explaining scientific fact on the interest of humans

and I wondered if we could find mushrooms in the yard,

eat them with our dirty teeth,

those exposed bones covered in wool and tobacco stains.


I awoke to two lorikeets perched on my belly,

they chattered to each other, ignoring me, then found the open window,

you came in the room with arms full of bottlebrush and coconut oil,

the birds left crescent moon claws in my skin.


Arthur has been telling you about all the different shades of green,

he lists them off one by one, you write them down, translating.

He says things like weed and emerald,

so you draw pictures of leaves and stones.


What is it to hear a bull speak?

To run your hands over a cello’s strings and find the soft rhythms inviting,

to notice a shade in all its form,

the heat makes the air feel full of confusion,


we get stoned and compare breathing,

sometimes I think I could crawl right into your mouth,

sleep inside your throat, I think you’d let me stay there.


The last thing we do is a spit promise,

I know that love can taste like horrible saliva,

but I lick your teeth and we say ok,

clasp our pinkies, we say yes.



Nic aleaNic Alea is a Bay Area based queer/trans* poet and educator. Nic co-hosts the open mic the New Shit Show which focuses on the production of new work. Nic has been published in Word Riot, kill author, the Evergreen Review, and Muzzle Magazine and is a 2012 Lambda LiteraryFellow and a semi finalist in Button Poetry’s chapbook competition for Sad Boy Slumber Party. You can find poems and other thoughts at

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