“Stay Cool” & “Tap B” by Amanda Dissinger

Red lips and sketched faces on a city skyline

Tap B

I am half awake on day one of the apocalypse
drinking diet coke to keep sane
sitting here watching ‘Let’s Make a Deal” like everything is normal in the world
I have something I think might not be a date tonight that I want to be a date and I can’t remember how to
but for once there are bigger things beside me
maybe that message wasn’t even for me

on the first day of the end of the world I saw someone with her lipstick smudged who didn’t even care
my hometown became a battleground for all the people who never bothered to read the literature
had to disown my own mother for laughing when i cared too much about the issues
had to explain why my own body was so vital

the first night after I saw a couple holding hands and not much else
i saw the lights turned off at the baseball field
i saw a guy sitting on our stoop having a reasonable cigarette and then another and then another
he walked to the bar listening to Bonnie Raitt
i finally climbed out of bed into the courtroom and made sure to wear lots of color
i made sure everyone in the county knew i was there
i made sure everyone in the country knew i was there

Stay Cool

I wish I were Winona Ryder in the 90s
before the whole shoplifting thing
but that wasn’t so bad, we all make mistakes
Got two squares of baklava in my bag and a dream
of erasing the last two years
bells on bikes and specific ways to hold a cigarette between two fingers
yours that is

Perpetually screaming that one line in that Sarah McLachlan song
“What a beautiful fucked up man”
Fumbling toward the opposite of ecstasy
At that Thai restaurant after you called me out of the blue
you told me you read that Sarah had a sex butler
which I can’t dissociate
or even understand
which is what you wanted

Defined myself by my name and my job for so long
I hardly ever go into stores where there’s one shopkeeper working
and I know I’ll have to talk to them and tell them what I’m looking for
or even worse that I’m just browsing
I think that defines me more than anything else

Amanda Dissinger is a Brooklyn-based poet who writes mostly about cities, complicated relationships, pop culture and loneliness. She has released chapbooks through Bottlecap Press, Maudlin House, Ghost City Press and in October 2017, a joint book of poems and photos with Brooklyn photographer Jessi Lembo, titled Homesick, through UK press Snoar. Her interests include fruit, the library, 80s and 90s tv, music and movies, and finding obscure print dresses on Ebay. You can find her at @fragglezrock on Instagram and Twitter.

Anna Pineda is an illustrator and mixed media artist from Southern California. They received their Bachelors in Studio Art at California State University, Long Beach, and have worked in technology and art throughout Los Angeles County. Their work has been cultivated through testing the limitations of specific mediums while keeping its content on visual human expression as well as familiar objects through free associative drawing. Check out Anna’s online portfolio or follow them on Instagram @a.spieql.