Two Poems by Kayla Sargeson


The Savannah air feels wet and Rita
sticks her hand out the window, wiggles
her fingers, and slides them down my arm.
Feel it?
In Pittsburgh, there’s someone who says
no one loves you like I do
and it’s something I carry with me
like a lucky rabbit’s foot.
Driving down Abercorn
there’s a lazy light I’m dazzled by.
I’m hungry for heat,
sweat dripping from forehead to breast,
hungry to touch the tips of trees I like so much,
the ones that bend over like they’re looking for something
and don’t seem to care if the ever find it.


You can’t say ‘townie,’ Sonya says,
pours us another tequila shot
in the kitchenette of our rented house.
Maybe we can go to the beach after the bar.
Tybee is a Native American word for salt,
and, according to Sonya,
is one of the last places in Georgia to end segregation.
The main drag is all brilliant lights
and tourist trap bars w/names like Benny’s,
Bubba Gumbo’s, Spanky’s
We go into Benny’s,
order glasses of Tybee Island Juice,
that taste like Cherry Kool-Aid and vodka,
the humidity is curling my hair.
A group of girls sing Smash Mouth.
Sonya says yes to the Bundy-looking guy
who whisks in,
buys our drinks for the rest of the night.
Be nice to him. He’s from Ohio, she whispers.
I’m too drunk to think, so I
pose w/her in pictures for this couple
who can’t decide whether or not to buy a goat,
tell us to stop talking to faux-Bundy:
He’ll lure you into his van,
cut off your toes
We leave with a man named Moses,
old neighbor of Sonya’s, who
drives us back to the beach house,
pulls out his cock when Sonya
goes out to smoke.
You want this in your pussy?
I’m still wasted, don’t care, say yes,
break a nail flamenco dancing at 4 am
to no music
while Sonya sleeps on the wicker couch outside.

Kayla Sargeson is the author of the full-length collection First Red (Main Street Rag, 2016) and the chapbooks BLAZE (Main Street Rag, 2015) and Mini Love Gun (Main Street Rag, 2013). With Lisa Alexander, she co-curates the Laser Cat reading series. Sargeson lives in Pittsburgh where she teaches at the University of Pittsburgh, Carlow University and the Community College of Allegheny County.