2 Poems

Ivanna Baranova


lisbon imagined

during our sad little breakfast by the window

we discuss the patterns in population density 
of the last cities on earth we’ve never been to 
but know how to pronounce

the cities we know how to pronounce sparkle 
and furthermore don’t enact any symptomatology 
of dependency or interpersonally destructive behavior

this is why we like to imagine ourselves inside of them 
but not inside the bodies of the people who inhabit them 

i make eye contact with you 
then suicide myself into the sour cream 
as if to say “i have arrived”

again i am making it about me always about me 

today everyone on earth eats dairy 
no one gives a fuck about the film industry the heterosexuals or the alt right
because there are more pressing matters at hand like 
the end of our dimming lives as we know them

when i think of june my body remembers all of its lifetimes 

i think: if i was in love then i am not now
i think: if i was like a person in love then i am like a person on life support now

i decide that when we do fall back in love 

i will invite you to go hopscotching across the viaduct with me
when we cross back into the city i promise to take you with me 
where when whenever i go wherever i go

in this scenario

you don’t ask me what’s the prognosis

we fly to pronounceable cities on fresh passports

wash the salt stains from our shirts in hotel lobbies

opt out of infinite regress

opt out of pushing ourselves off every ledge for sport


water signs

i don’t want to mention death 
any more than we do the weather

whatever daily obituaries 
and fahrenheit levels 
consume us both

our bras cupping 
pools of sweat

no matter the weather 
no matter the month

when the temperature drops we go 
coffin shopping at the colour house

we cruise control the drive home
so to sidewalk stare at the faces 

that house the eyes of the expressions 
of the people who do not love us now  
didn't love us then 

and never will

because we don’t know any better 
we chalk phenomenological consequence 
up to the effects of obligation

conflate all intersectional theory 
with lawlessness

proselytize lazy idioms 
about astrology and the occult

when i joke about being garbage 
it is because i am a joke about being garbage 
and garbage is as garbage does as garbage does  

isn’t it amazing

the pithy fuckery 
of the one-two conflation
to which i subject you 

to make you
to make you want me
to make you want to touch me

wanting is the melting of the ego
wanting is the witnessing of melting
melting can be spontaneous and a-romantic 
can tend to occur during the onset of any cycle

            or otherwise

just so you know:
when i want something 
i ask for it

i never ask for you




Ivanna Baranova is a poet based in Vancouver, Canada. Her work can be found in Pacific Dissent, Poetry is Dead Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia, having completed a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies of Philosophy, Gender, and Creative Writing.