“Occasional Poem for Monica Lewinksy Tweeting About the Full Moon in Cancer, December 29, 2020” & “What Do Women Want?” by Casey Smith

Illustration of a brown rabbit held in blue mittens. Some colorful houses, people, and the phases of the moon across the night sky in the background.

Occasional Poem for Monica Lewinksy Tweeting About the Full Moon in Cancer, December 29, 2020

every time they find something new in space
it’s fucking        bigger than us, and i’m sick of it
like, they found two new galaxies last week: two
        so what i’m saying is: it’s nice
sometimes to look up at the moon and think
how monica is looking at the moon too she’s reaching for her phone
and typing: the moon is mesmerizing tonight, and it is, and she is.
i can’t stop writing about monica
        because i was born while the president or whatever
was deciding whether or not to lie
about her       i was born in the dead air between
that woman & miss lewinsky
i was born sick of this shit basically i was born adoring you,
and i know you’re just a person but that’s sort of the point.
i can’t stop writing about monica
        because i’m 22 so hello i know what it means
to overestimate how much someone loves me,
and so do all my friends, like: all the best people i know.
       and have you heard that the moon is actually drifting away from us –
every year it’s a little smaller: the eye winking at the end of a paper towel tube,
the snowflake in the palm of my mitten,
and we’re still tugging
on each other’s shirtsleeves, spinning on the sidewalk
all the way home from the bar, shouting the moon
        looks mesmerizing tonight,
and when i think about that, the world feels tiny and shimmering
and i forget about radio galaxies and cotton candy exoplanets.
         when i look up at night i think,
i bet i could walk around the moon walk all
the way around it til i got where i started and not even die: that’s how small it is.
       i think, we’re all going towards the same black hole
       so me and my friends will be together forever.

“What Do Women Want?”

after Kim Addonzio
i want to be a teletubby – i want to wear a cow print hat
with a hole cut out for my antenna,
and also my antenna? curves into a little heart.
my only neighbors are the sun baby and the brown rabbits:
the only words i know are oh no and weeeeee
                                    and my own name,
which is something earnest like bumpo or whoopsie daisy.
actually, my name is :) and you can only pronounce it by blowing a kiss.
the flowers are always newly bloomed. our roomba is an elephant.
we don’t pay rent on the tubbytronic superdome.
i want to be the softest thing imaginable: i’m so soft
my lips are melting into my face.
and when i turn on the tv in my belly, my friends see themselves
the way i see them: we just got finished laughing
        and everything is pink.
i want it to confirm your worst fears about me,
how i thought i wanted big things now i don’t.
what if i move somewhere pretty because it’s pretty
and make personal calls at work,

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Casey Smith is an MFA candidate at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She is an assistant poetry editor at Grist Journal. Her poems have been published in Split Lip Magazine, Underblong, Longleaf Review, Passages North and others. Find her on Twitter @aeyoei.

Natasha Brennan is a freelance illustrator, avid sketcher, and printmaker who focuses on journalistic storytelling, editorial illustration, art for children, and surreal spaces. She graduated from RISD with a BFA in Illustration and a Concentration in Literary Arts in 2020. She wants to work on more community-oriented projects and continue teaching children the joy of art making. In her free time, she writes stories, explores Providence, knits, and dreams of secret special places. Find more of her work at natashagbrennan.com.