An Undergraduate Literary Journal from UW-Milwaukee

Things I Did Not Do

by Katarina Merlini

Today I bought a bag of lemons—
I liked their citron iridescence and
the way the smell comes away
on my fingertips.
Today I broke a nine-minute mile.
Today I broke a honey jar
I had bought only a week before
from the talkative honey man
at the farmer’s market.
I did not like how he tried to
talk to me about
honey flavor profiles
but I did like the
black locust variety he handed me.
I bought it and dipped a finger in
to suck on my way home.
It tasted like grace. It tasted
like lemons.

 

Today I ran until I vomited
baked oatmeal squares
in the bathroom stall at the gym
down the street. I think the handsome boy
on the elliptical heard me
and maybe felt a little bad
or maybe didn’t even notice.
Today I lay in pigeon pose
until I felt well enough
to face the day.
I tried to pray.
I’ve forgotten the words
my father gave me.

 

Today I called my mom to talk about
the bank notifications I have
been getting in my email.
She says not to worry, it’s just the account
she uses to hide money from my dad.
Today I looked at my own finances
and tried to learn what
an index mutual fund is
and how I should set one up
and if maybe my dad knew

 

about this kind of stuff
and maybe I should give him a call too.
But I got scared and my chest tightened
because that’s a lot of thinking and
I’m not sure if I was ready for that yet.
I decided to read a book instead

 

Katarina Merlini is a poet, writer, and alleged human being who studies English and Psychology at the University of Michigan. When she’s not dressing her dog up in thrifted sweaters or tending to her windowsill cactus collection, she enjoys working as a mentor for local LGBTQ+ and at-risk youth.