Tori McCandless

On Synthetic Glowing Attachments

               Yellow-grass-city-fog-cement-smell straddles synthetic glowing attachments. Is it
               tangy root or fake meat? My sense, subordinated to nearness, knocks-off.
               Meanwhile, the neon glow of environmental collapse puts on its best show all hot
               pink and glitter.

               On the boardwalk they’re selling genres of heat wave: mojitos in a can, eyes puffy
               from crying, bodies strewn across beach towels. Bored, I mount the storm barrier
               then demand take-out. Bundles of blue plastic forks that turn into sea creatures
               arrive with each order. I try to return them to the ocean but someone stops me.

                                           Last night you called me to say that the planetary surround
                             of weather is polyamorous, flooding your DMs then leaving them
                            dry. I listen to this gossip while watching a possum crawl into my
                            neighbor’s garbage bins. Intimacy is hard I say but I’m distracted
                            by another you I can’t stop thinking about. But I’m distracted by
                            the smell of fog.

Tori McCandless (they/them) is a teacher, writer, and PhD Candidate in the Department of English at the University of California, Davis. They are currently at work on a dissertation that explores the representation of ecological catastrophe and labor, as it intersects with race and gender in Modernist poetry. Their writing can be found in ASAP/Journal, Edge Effects, and Lavender Review.

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