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Allergy Girl VIII

Sandra Beasley

I try not to tell them at first
or if I do, to cut them off.
Even breast milk? Even pot smoke?
Yes. Even you. Yes, you.

The one who had a mouthful
of chocolate without telling me,
taunting I guess not so sensitive
before I turned on the light
to a collarbone covered in hives.

The one who could cook
omelets, macaroni, lamb in mango reduction,
who called my friend from his kitchen,
You're gonna have to help me here.

The one who lit his American Spirits,
asked for my roster of old lovers
and, when I teared up
not from the litany but from tobacco,
Oh god I’m an ass kissed me upon each
watery red eye.

It’s a defense mechanism.
It’s a non sequitur.
It’s a psychosomatic nightmare.
It's a vaudeville act.

The one who walked me to the library
after our first dinner date. Café Europa
used goat milk in the pita. He’d touched me
with feta on his fingers. I smiled tightly.
He rounded the corner. I called the ambulance.

The same ex who admitted,
when I visited him last week,
I’ve been eating cottage cheese and yogurt
to ensure a G-rated goodbye.

Sandra Beasley

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