Aimee Herman

Aimee Herman is a queer writer, performance artist and writing/literature teacher in the Bronx with two books of poetry, meant to wake up feeling (great weather for MEDIA) and to go without blinking(BlazeVOX books), in addition to being widely published in journals and anthologies including BOMB, cream city review, and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat Books). Aimee is a founding member alongside David Lawton in the poetry band, Hydrogen Junkbox as singer, songwriter and ukulele player. In 2019, Aimee's first novel, "Everything Grows" will be published by Three Rooms Press.

 

city love

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Our first kiss was messy.

 

Your soot tongue was Keith Haring graffiti and mine was overripe New Jersey tomato, but we made it work.

 

You read me the dirt beneath your fingernails and I asked you questions like: where do all the rats hide when the sun glows? How scraped up is this sky, really, and if I counted all the windows would you check my math?

 

We ate gourmet hot dogs, which we picked out like meaty lobsters, swimming in milky water, sold by a man across from the Museum of Natural History, who tried to sell us his entire cart because he believed his time was up.

 

You insisted the man with his pants down, holding onto his penis as though it were attempting to rob him, peeing onto another who seemed to be sleeping, was performance art. Afterwards, you clapped. Screamed, “Encore!! Encore!”

 

You promised wildlife when I told you I used to make love in forests. When no one was around to stop us, you held my hand and we jumped onto the subway tracks, joining the bloated rats that you promised could do tricks.

 

You said the ones with bellies growing on their outsides with sores spelling out lost languages neither of us could read was good luck. It appeared we had lots of it.

 

You put my hand on your chest as the A train became visible. When I screamed, you thought I was writing you a poem with my voice.

 

You kissed me again, and I vibrated beneath you, counting my limbs to make sure they were still attached.

 

Your breath smelled of suggested donations.

 

As we walked to your apartment, you sang Carole King and Wu Tang off key, but you meant well.

 

When I told you I was still hungry, you dove head first into a dumpster.

 

You said New York is a place for dreamers and druggies and drummers and divers. You said if I vomit up my morals in order to make rent, I’ve become one of them. I’ve made it.

 

With your hands on my waist, I could feel your childhood burn into me. That summer you stole rides on the subway just to jump waves at Coney Island. That threesome with the bearded lady and the man who hammered nails into his nose. That time you almost severed your toe, walking in the sand, stepping on cracked beer bottles, glass sharpened by the sun. When your mom changed the locks on you because you admitted your love for ladieswear over your dad’s hand-me-downs. When you danced beneath a disco ball during an all-night rave for the very first time and felt like Donna Summer and Debbie Harry and the moon all in one. When you realized every vein pump pumping blood inside your body is just like the grid pump pumping life into the city.