Shaken Soda Bottles

I asked her what love felt like,

and she shook her Fanta bottle until

orange bubbles grew

like clementine’s on a bush.

She opened it with no fear,

while I closed my eyes and turned away –

the bottle burst,

orange droplets falling

from the sky like the sun

was melting with warm butter

on a skillet. Fizz spilling

over like a bubble bath,

my fingers sticking

together – I thought my toes

would be orange forever. Staining

the sidewalk with our footprints

until 4 o’clock, when the rain

was scheduled to wash away

the mess and chalk drawings

we had made.

It feels like that!

She answered with a big smile on her face

And those clementine’s on the corners

of her split ends.



Swallowing Fishes

Kissing you is like swallowing a whole fish –

tasting everything your tongue touched that day; your roommates

camel blues, sweetened tea, and that banana flavored

vape that I hate. Six weeks in I told you about how

I got raped by Jeremy Olds behind the bleachers

at the high school football state championships.

You told me I probably didn’t remember it properly

and I nodded and agreed with you.


Loving you is a bloody car crash –

fucking me raw in the backseat of your

car, you said I was lowkey annoying

on the drive back from my mom’s. She had

asked to meet you so we drove

four hours for a descent homemade dinner and brunch,

At least he doesn’t chew that snuff like your father did,

she said when you went out

for a cigarette break and that was the one

thing I gripped onto with white knuckles

towards the end. The soggy sheet stains walking

behind me while I peed after sex – popping

me open and crunching me with your

foot like I’m an empty beer can, whispering

so your roommates wouldn’t wake up,

You’re so fucking messy Soph,

and me throwing back,

And you think you’re any better?


Touching you is like licking a fleece sweater –

I was just a candle snuffer to your fury

and flame, I fucking despise you and your tattered

jeans that flake off in the dryer sticking

to my underwear – Our sheets mumbling

secrets beneath us. I sit here, peeling

myself apart like a 5-year-old tears

open an orange in the schoolroom cafeteria, choking

on my stringy bits just to please you.



Kitchen Sink Disposal

New Years, 2018.

You threw

your phone down

the kitchen sink disposal.

Centimeters from cutting

your fingers off, dad pulled

your left hand out before

the blades bit into your blood.

Spitting, screaming,

tongue as sharp as the shards of metal

like teeth hidden in the dark drain –

biting bitter breaths, standing

in the corner you said you heard the disposal taunt you –

begging breathless puffs asking for your fingertips.

Gurgling slimy bits of moldy mush

You said it was hungry for more than just clumps.

Mother began reciting the Hail Mary; father began pacing,

Tripping on the uneven floor boards in the dining room,

I stood staring down the kitchen sink disposal

thinking, maybe, you weren’t crazy,

just in a fair amount of pain.




Even at the ripe age of 8, you liked to play god –

deciding which creatures to exterminate,

villainizing each one like you were an Australian hunting

a cane toad.


Vicious and unforgiving,

remember when, at 15, you said you were just as cunning

as god, and grandma splashed her vial of holy water on you –

you spit it on her face and she got on her knees and began

singing the Hail Mary. I’d never seen dad so angry

when he heard you pushed mom into the glass living room table

and punched a hole in the wall.


But do you remember those days before?


Snatching bits from the stubs

of grass dad had just cut,

acorns weighing down the buckets

spilling from our sweaty palms.


Mom would yell at us through the glass patio screen,

Leave those outside!

And we’d keep the full buckets on the wicker table.


In a few weeks worms would sprout

like weeds between concrete –

I’d watch them squirm around in my bucket,

before releasing them free.


You’d poor Epsom salt

on them and watch them contort and swell,

or squeeze them between your nails –

like someone popping a pimple –

I’d watch the white puss and blood swirl together

like a sickening cinnamon roll.

Even at the ripe age of 8, you liked to play god –


Oh god,

how I wished, I could dump the bucket and set you free.


Biographical Note: Sophia Ivey is a Senior attending Florida State University. She plans to go on to receive an MFA in Creative Writing. Her poetry revolves around addiction, mental illness, and the grittiness of everyday life. She enjoys spending her free time making jewelry and cuddling her cat Frankie.