I Never Understood Peter Pan until I Turned 24

Paula Gil-Ordoñez Gomez

In a dream my lover cut off both my legs
and denied it. I ached
for him. Okay what do I care

about? Heat, olived bread,
accidental pea-shaped thigh burn
in his oil spill kitchen.

Cleaning as I go, we learn by experience.
What things do you actually need
in a New York apartment?

Loving and being loved back
is a big coincidence.
Monarch butterfly in my room is a big delusion.

In the airport I saw unaccompanied minors
and pets in the same check in line.
I have trouble balancing

finding moments so meaty
I want to document
versus gorging on them

—how do I strike it?
Living to feel or feeling to live?
I like the idea

of going to a bar open till one-thirty am
though we are going home at ten.
I like the scene

in Princess Diaries where mom says it’s okay
to cry. Does the ancestral guilt dissolve
when we age? I wonder where it goes

—if it knows its collateral
damage. I’m sort of feral
dagger toothed, the office plant

drinks more water than me.

The skin on my middle finger hurts.
I chewed it off

myself, the most pain I’ve felt in a while.
I forget to tweeze
my toe hairs, so I rip them out

by the handful.
Other women are naturally smooth.
I go to the wax salon

and technician charges extra.
I don’t protest, she’s probably right.
On full fridge days I still dig

under the cracks.
I forget what trout tastes like.
What food do you choose to eat first?

Your favorite or least?
Why? Thank the mailman
for credit card statements.

Where are the postcards?
The Highlights magazines?
I keep my gods around my neck

in fool’s gold plated replacements.
La maja desnuda is like me
—our breasts tilt the same way.

I love the calluses of my feet, I’ve been told
I’m a great first date
with a side profile like Joan of Arc. 

Paula Gil-Ordoñez Gomez is a Mexican-Spanish-American poet based in Brooklyn. She works as a narrative strategist at a social impact agency, and as the Social Media & Membership Manager for Brooklyn Poets. Her writing has been published in HAD, Defunkt Magazine, and Wax Nine, among others. Say hi on Twitter @paulagilordonez and find more of her work at paulagilordonezgomez.com.

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