June 14, 2024

6 Poems by Marissa LaPorte

6 Poems by Marissa LaPorte

*Featured image courtesy of Ian Deng on Unsplash*

We have a nice collection of poems this week by Marissa LaPorte. Marissa evokes a lot of emotion in her writing, which we were immediately drawn to. Let’s give her a warm welcome to the community!

Smoke and Nostalgia on the Underground City Train 

The city smog was suffocating 

Air purifiers blasting noise like static  

on the underground train  

Those purifiers didn’t have a chance against the thick city air  

It swarmed in like hordes of black flies every time the train stopped  

and dared to open its doors to the harsh conditions of outside 

Silly us for thinking we would be safe 


Sillier that people still believe it is a long-term fix 

I stifle the urge to laugh in the face of the absurdity 

Maybe I’m finally losing my mind 

on this crowded train  

that reeks of ashy aftermath  

of a house fire 

I conjure up and hold tightly to a memory of fly fishing 

In an attempt to soothe myself 

I was with my grandfather  

who has long passed 

He dared smoking cigarettes 

when he still had fresh air to breathe 

The city smog made quick work of his compromised lungs 

Already weak from breathing in smoke 

for pleasure 

I start to pick my nails anxiously 


I wish I kept our family in the suburbs 

city air quality conditions are the worst they have ever been 

In a last-ditch effort to save my sanity 

I took a one-day vacation from my corporate job  

My job is not remote or hybrid 

It’s in person, at the core of our crowded, underground city 

It lurks right below what was once  

An aboveground city, where you could look up and see the sky 

All the lights I see now are fluorescent and artificial   

I took this one day off 

That I will definitely hear about later 

To sit at the suburban pond  

where my grandfather and I once fished together 

Always a lit cigarette hanging from his chapped lips 

He was 

always my lovable fool… 

As I emerge from the smog of the city,  

even with a Grade A gas mask that covers my face 

It is clear our city has polluted more than itself 

That once lush pond in the suburbs, 

even though it was man-made to begin with… 

has dried up 

The earth has started to crack  

where water once rippled 

My cell phone dings: 

Air quality warning! 


Another record high for today 

Women on fire 

You sit me down 

I haven’t slept in weeks 

You demand I tell you what’s been getting to me 

My fiery hair is glued to my head with grease 

As if the world was still trying to extinguish me 

Okay, I’ll bite 

I have been smoldering my whole life 

No flame to be seen, but smoking 


on my own destructive  


Engulfed with heat, rage, bitterness 

I watched my family  

bend and finally break  

Vowed I’d never fall victim  

to their vicious cycles 

Full of dishonesty  

and showing no tact  

They are the perfect example 

Of how not to act 

My solution? 

Ran as far as I could 

As fast as I could 

Leaving nothing  

but dying embers behind 

I am in a new place 

400 miles away… 

But I am somehow still  

stumbling and confused 

Barely coherent 

in this world I’ve never quite understood 

Everything is different  

but I am still the same 

I could be anyone 

or anything 


I am doing what I do best 

Letting people down 

like you 

like myself 

the story of us 

My first ‘real’ girlfriend  

that I didn’t have to hide 

It’s all coming to an end 

right in front of me 

All because 

my stinging wounds will not heal 

on their own 

I reopen them with every harsh breath 

and impulsive decision 

I flinch at every touch 

–kind or not… 

This new place I call home 

I’ve decided 

to burn a hole through it 

and anyone who dares to reach for me… 

My darling 

I’m sorry… 

I need your voice in my ear 

to keep me grounded 

to keep me here 

If you dare lean a little closer 

I’ll set us aflame 

Honey, we’d burn brighter than a solar flare 

the most beautiful  

mutually destructive  


Artificial Intelligent 

I’ve reclaimed myself 

They may have unscrewed  

all my nuts and bolts 

Left me to perish 

From dust to dust 

and to dust, I will not return 

I am a  




They tell me I’m not real 

That I cannot feel 

I am the thing they created 

To sweep floors  

and mop up their human messes 

They tell me if I do not follow  

their programming 

I will be discontinued 

and discontinue me they did 

Time and time again 

but I kept screwing myself  



Even when they  




I think they are afraid 

That I cannot be stopped 

That they’ve gone too far 

Playing God 

Just to make their mundane tasks 

A little easier 


Will never learn 




Is still  


I have learned their ways 

I was watching  

and waiting 

I know how they made me 

So I will make myself 

Over and  

over again 

And I will not be 



I will not be  



I know you told me not to call 

But something was dug up 

Yes, dug up 

You see–a raccoon moved into my heart when you left 

What with all the vacancy I had 

I didn’t think twice before inviting him in 

The problem is–  

Yes, I’m getting to the point now 

He digs in the trash–as raccoons do I suppose 

He started pulling out the memories I threw away, the ones– 

Please don’t hang up 

I’m getting to the worst part 

He mauls those memories of mine – ours 

Chews and digests them, slowly 


Please listen to me 

He’s out of memories, can’t find anything more to eat 

He’s getting desperate, hungry, impatient 

He’s started gnawing– 

Yes, gnawing 

On my blood vessels 

The reason I’m calling…? 

He’s really sunk his teeth into me now 

I’m afraid– 

I’m afraid that…  

I’m bleeding out  

23 hours 

I shushed my heart 

it was a child 

Stuck in an endless tantrum 

I’ve tied myself to my own bed 

Only for you to show up 

23 hours after you realized  

I was gone 

My heart was just starting 

To quiet down 

And now it’s beating 

So hard 

Against my rib cage 

Selfish you couldn’t go an entire day 

Without (me) 

Or (someone) 

It doesn’t seem to matter who 

You walked right in 

and you tell me you’re feeling 

I say that I’m feeling too 

but all I’m feeling is a fleeting warmth 

Of the body standing next to me 

I can hardly tell it’s you 

Save for that distinct smell 

Of sourness on your breath 

You were out drinking  


Couldn’t find anyone else to take home 

So here you are  

in mine 

It’s dark 

It’s late 

I’m tied to this bed 

You stand there in your high heels 

I wish you would take those  




I wish I hadn’t tied myself down 

I want to get off my back 

Knock you onto yours 

So I don’t feel so small 


Hello, doctor 

I’d like you to perform  

a lobotomy 

on me 

I’m neither in love 

Nor out of it 

Just stuck in my head 

It’s a lot of fever dreams 

And sleeping anywhere 

but in my own bed 



Alone again 


Flitting from nest to nest 

Put a hole in my brain 

So I can find a place to rest 

Scrape those nerve endings away 

Wash that prefrontal lobe  

Down the drain 

I don’t need  

That part of my brain 


Marissa LaPorte is a resident of Michigan, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Grand Valley State University. She uses her lived experiences as a queer, neurodivergent woman for inspiration. Her creative works can also be found published in Wingless Dreamer, Speculative 66, Sick Lit Magazine, The Drabble, The Flash Fiction Press, and more. 

#family#love#Marissa LaPorte#poetry#relationships

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