Median

“It’s all about balance,”
they say.
The ever elusive THEY.

Who are THEY?
Do they swallow corrections
to improprieties?

Maintain status quos?
Keep even-keels?
Cushy in the center, complicit.

Do they adhere to
“opposites attract”?
Zodiac wheel confirmations that

this is right,
this is equal,
this makes sense.

Are they hedonists
Wednesday through
Monday?

Money spent,
money replenished,
no harm, no foul.

Do they work hard,
play hard
(but only when it’s deserved),

and never think,
this could very well
kill me
?

But still, you bike off some calories.
Sleep off some wine.
Unclench, clench.

Do they go halfsies, splitsies?
A buoy bobbing between
shallow and deep, a

median.

Have they tried yoga and all its
upward and downward
currents of energy?

Two forces in
opposition?
Ebb, flow, carry on.

Do they resent non-functioning outlets,
male
and female

prongs
just a little
off-kilter? Bent?

Do they weigh daily
life’s taketh
and giveth,

risks,
rewards,
safers than sorries?

Does aimless floating
like either end of a ladder toss
terrify them?

Me, personally?
I’d rather be
tethered,

a tightly wound resistance band, a
medium
connecting

your hand to
your other hand,
happy to be useful.

And yet,
I could snap.


© 2020 Andrea Festa

Molting

Its shell allows the lobster to grow in a constant state of infinite metamorphosis, adapting by needling its plumpness into every salty nook and cranny of armor like polycarbonate, both in simultaneous protection and prison, until, at last, it shatters the proverbial ceiling and wriggles free its naked, ancient body out into the sea’s thousand icy cold leagues, forgetting its cells will inevitably regenerate a shiny new casing. In this way, the lobster theoretically cannot die, its past, present, and future life already predetermined, evolving, molting and rebuilding in an eternal flat circle of time, unless predator or man finally, mercifully comes along and severs it.

© 2020 Andrea Festa

There Are Two Kinds Of Love

There are two kinds of love.

Friends turned lovers.
Lovers turned lifers.

There are two kinds of love.

Mutual back rubs
from pretend boys.

There are two kinds of love.

Freckles, bangs, blue tongue.
Asthmatic laughs.

There are two kinds of love.

Heteronormativity,
but make it gauche.

There are two kinds of love.

Frozen hot chocolate
with real boys.

There are two kinds of love.

The one where I see the cuts,
the steamy mirror glances.

There are two kinds of love.

The one where instead
I write it in a Post Secret.

There are two kinds of love.

One you choose
and one you don’t.

There are two kinds of love.

But you can’t have your cake
and eat it, too.


© 2020 Andrea Festa

Unattainable

As featured on Ephemeral Elegies

My father stood beside the wilted orange tiger lilies
on the side of our house. So small and fragile
compared to the grand spectacle in the sky.
A meteor shower, a celestial trajectory of cosmic
debris. Thousands, bright and fast, cascaded
from the infinite galaxy to Earth.
Earth, where my father and I stood, awestruck.
I squinted to take it all in, despite my poor vision.
“You’ll never see this again in your lifetime,” he said.
His voice was ominous, echoing off the siding.

I fought to find the features of his face in the dark, grasping
the unattainable, like catching a shooting star in a jar for keepsake.


© 2020 Andrea Festa

Omniscience

“So the Greeks won’t kill.”
That was the answer,
scribbled in black

on a piece of parchment
unfurled at the foot
of my bed. A cryptic

message from some
omnipotent power
whom I prayed to

asking the reason for an
out of body experience,
an astral projection.

Mystic transcendence
to realms inside drywall
for months on end.

I should modify the prayer
to better suit my beliefs,
Metaphysics over the Messiah,

if you will. So forgive me
father, for I have sinned.
It has been twenty years

since my last confession.
I accuse myself
of many a mortal sin.

In the name of the Father,
the Son,
and the Holy Spirit–

Of deep sleep and rapid
eye movement.
Murmuring vibration.

In the name of keen
awareness and a third eye.
Being naked in the sheets.

Of air molecules that hang
fuzzy and champagne
golden from the ceiling.

In the name of moon walking
over kitchen linoleum,
bouncing and hovering

through curtains,
through glass,
through brick city walls.

In the name of plunging
into Caribbean depths.
Ferocious eels, slick,

calling. In the name of
not knowing my location
in the universe,

which plane of existence
I stand on. In the name of
a fragile spirit

attached by fibrous
airwaves to my skin,
frightened of never returning.

In the name of vicious
mattress thrashing and trying
to harness the soul back to body

Praise be to God, or something like it.

Amen.


© 2020 Andrea Festa

My rock























Without the pebbles
boulders
flat rock
ravines
or trenches
dug out by years
of erosion
the frenetic
bubbling water
would flood
the soil
sidewalks
city streets
and then nature
would be off-balance.
For with every impulsive
action
must exist a steady
reaction
and hence, sediment
was formed,
not to barricade
the unpredictable
river,
but rather
to gently and naturally
mark its place
amidst the chaos
and guide it
safely home
to the ocean.


© 2020 Andrea Festa

Habibi

As featured on Ephemeral Elegies






Seated in Sukhasana,
head over heart
heart over pelvis,
I lower my gaze
to my chest.
Large pores, nascent
stages of wrinkling,
span my cleavage.
Boldly on display, joining
blood blisters
and freckles
and fine baby hairs.
I’m proud of these marks.
My mom has them.
My aunt, too, who bronzes
better than all the
women in this family.
Matriarch of the Decker women
Lineage. Gypsies and thieves.
Allegedly.

Hands folded in Anjali Mudra,
I lift my chin in sun salutation.
Ask, “Who were those Lebanese
women before me?” who
make up my composite parts.
Real, pioneer women,
babies at their hips and breasts.
Long, crooked noses cast down
on men there solely for utility.
Situs talking shit over
kibbeh nayyeh.
Lean hands dipping Syrian bread,
Molding girls into sharp, sensitive
women.
Like my mother
and me
and the child that won’t follow.


© 2020 Andrea Festa