stampede of pennies against empty can of memories – A Poem By Aimee Herman


stampede of pennies against empty can of memories

Aimee Herman




Until I hear my name called,     I will wait

with paper ticket in palm and ankles crossed like bowties and book against lap to cover the stains and you behind me breathing yellow daffodils against my neck and the shifting of your polyester skin comforting your bones and the dimple

that only grows on your cheek

when you look at me.


To save a tree whose leaves have shed green toward brown, we steal roots

and speed highways

to be free from sirens and earth’s restrictions.



A good day is when no one touches me.




What happened is this:


She closed her eyes, which she pretended were moss—not the color but the plant—knees bent in the only way they can and found Braille between her legs.


Whisper: what disrupts you?

Then: disrupt her.


I kiss like your mouth is an empty journal and my tongue is the poetry that turns pages into magic.




She arrives just past midnight with chocolate and cologne painted neck.

Her jaw is a museum of kissing.

They climb into night clenching poems.

Practice mathematics while watching rats march through street.

How hard is love

when an end is always within reach.



Tell me,

How often do you shave the genetics from top upper lip and if I handcuffed you to a bed, could I watch you grow?


Stay away from what bangs against sewed-in zipper.


Never assume there is such a thing as one or the other. In choice, comes indecision, then the desire for both. Hiccups grow inside body like convulsing peacock feathers tickling pattern of breath.



If I scar and you do not see it, is it real?

(This leather is not




Today, your head aches.

Tomorrow, your thighs will rub themselves into tiny bumps like jellybeans.


You took the moon away and now buildings run into themselves from lack of light in the evening hours.



Memories are not chosen and break-ups never end.

What is love but a series of cancelled television programs.


Squeeze tears from eyes like improperly placed pimple and pretend the excretions don’t celebrate you.


Do you miss the color of your flesh before you paid them to color you in?



A picture of your feet crossed ankles with hair like soil smudge.



I ruined the lean in.




Send me a message.

There is no guilt in this.





Ask me to map out the positions the way my body curves.

Remind me to scream out names that used to undress me.

Appraise the value of my abdomen.

How far can it stretch and why does it not calm down?

Ask me to describe the weight of my meals and why I forget to chew.


Define impatience. Discoloration. The impact of sterilization.


Ask me about static and the state of my alarm clock.


Ask me about body hair and why I let it grow there


If beauty is smooth then how can you possibly introduce me to your mother?



This rain

This rain sounds like pennies thrown against emptied cans of vegetables or a stampede of tap dancers whispering their feet over puddles.



I miss you in a way that cannot be helped.




How necessary is love when death is closer and never expects  a phone call in the morning.




Analyze the flirt from grammatical errors and misinterpreted use of adverbs. Your zipper, like my tongue, does not want to remain in place. Leather wraps bullet-holed measurements against swallow. Yellow tie around wrists and we never discussed a safe word. Tattoo of broken blood vessels from the pull apart of stubborn thighs. I have never heard of that shade of blue and yet you compare my right arm to it.




Look up!

It looks like a full-figured woman sleeping in the sky.



I am trying to define memory.


I am trying to define the way my bones become

a slideshow to the rest of me




I cannot







What. Does. It. Mean. To. Be. Non. Biological?



Women wear smooth because they are handed razors and panty hose at birth.


Remove only what reservation of sorrows have taken through the coarse resin of fiberglass positioning        through reconstructive organs.



scribble around a chalk outline of  discharge called monthly modulation gathering.

fuck without protection because you    call it            something else.




uniqueness derives from in-

ability to

see all




Shake head from body.


Try not to talk for too long because they stop listening after the third sentence     or

first poem.


Outside, a cigarette is placed between lips of former addict. And then a song plays and eyes attempt a parade of tears until the loss of moisture becomes realized. Doesn’t it just move right through you? A night grows thick and love looks best on scratch paper. Moon, if only I were not so afraid of heights; I would climb up there and push neon strip between thighs.



There are seven different ways to look at paralysis, exposed nipples, electric violins and your childhood.


Tell me.


Don’t leave just because the sky weeps and you have no umbrella.

You will miss this.





Must            I hang          from a tree              for you to notice?




When I die, will you play at my funeral.


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