10 Cent Boots

At night, I dream of girls with 10 cent boots:

that carry the scent of hotel shampoo/
and boys who twirl flowers/between their fingers/
like satin.

In the morning I wake:

to age old bones/muscle fibers that stretch/
like the strings on/the old Yamaha in my/living room/
as the notes dance/out of tune.

If I'm good:

swallow my pills/with just a tiny swish of water/
even though my body always/
seems to crave more.

And if it's good enough:

I can get out of bed/without a feeling/
that everything is speeding/
to a metronome that I haven't set.

And I can ignore:

the subtle crackling in my lungs/
of missing air and the way/I feel like a bellows/
on a bagpipe.

I can ignore the press of bile just behind my throat:

the scissoring of my esophagus/
As the diet of a fastidious toddler’s/wildest dream slides down/
Ignore the way my tongue bristles/
at bright flavors.

A girl walks by:

with coffee bean eyes/and a ring in her nose/
and I feel my heart/heavy in my chest/
craving something new/exciting/
sweet like pomegranates.

But instead I know:

time wouldn't keep us/a warm hearth.

I go to sleep
and dream of girls
with 10 cent boots



Person smiling with short purple hair, blue eyes, and hoop earrings.

Person smiling with short purple hair, blue eyes, and hoop earrings.

BRIAR PRONSCHINSKE is a queer undergraduate English and environmental science double major at Indiana University-Bloomington. Briar is a serial pun-maker, wheat enthusiast, and vigilante hole digger who has on multiple occasions been described as fae adjacent. A recent Fibromyalgia diagnosis inspires much of their poetry. They have previously been published in the Lighter.