TW: calorie

calorie (n. vulgar)

1. 	an obsolete unit

2. 	the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C (now usually defined as 4.1868 joules)

3. 	equal to 1,000 small calories (they are very tiny, baby calories)
	“A slice of this rocky road brownie with marshmallow fudge, maple fondant and caramelized smoked pecans contains 537,000 small calories.”

4.	your worth, expressed numerically (remember, one calorie is 1,000 small calories or 4.1868 joules)

5. 	to condemn vigorously and often irascibly for some real or fancied fault or defect

6.	to condemn to a punishment or fate
	especially: to condemn to hell

7. 	to bring ruin on

8. 	your worth, expressed numerically, too much/never enough/always imbalanced/your body boils the water but it never turns to vapor


Letters Inspired By Light
The Night Watch

fuck windmills, what is this
the 16th century?
it's all about bikes now
the Dutch are awfully sweet people
it's just those bicycles
acting rude and rowdy

when the country went into lockdown
the bikes broke free at night
and burst into empty coffee shops
to get high on their own drama
the lack of tourists with starry-nighted eyes 
created a vacuum for those
sweet cheese wheels to burn rubber in
they wanted to pop into the Rijksmuseum
but got distracted by the other museum
that looks like a bathtub
and also by weed

doe normaal! the Dutchies would
mutter under their breaths
but bikes have no ears
and are blissfully immune to
this ever so slightly
passive-aggressive utterance

lacking a nervous system, bikes are
incapable of passive aggression
they do know that eventually
they will end up in the canal
after being eviscerated
for spare parts, but mercifully
they live in the eternal now
the eternal Dao, the eternal
oh for fuck's sake, I don't mind the bike
but that lock was pretty pricey

the carbon composite wheels of dharma
turn and sing:
you spin me right 'round, baby, right 'round
like a record, baby, right 'round, 'round, 'round
a love song that wafts
from the bottom of the canal
later: the bottom of the sea
but we don't have to go there yet
there are still enough fingers
to pacify those embankments
that reluctantly rhyme with bikes



Dis/Own Dis/Neyland

you get a random sum 
in a square or you don’t
and can buy a street
but more likely can’t
and what would you even
do with a street?
can’t roll it up in your purse
it’s just loud and dirty

each bill should come printed with
a bunny you can color in
a connect-the-dots clown
as a reminder it’s
a shitty piece of souvenir
a show reel for insecure dudes
a terrible origami 
an even worse thermal blanket
and a very short-lived bonfire
God created money
for vending machine sodas and/or
in his own image
and thought ”what the fuck”
”I’m not two-dimensional and gaudy”

God disowned it
but it was too late
I can’t disown what
I want to fuck/marry/kill
it comes out of a wall
or a mine but it’s never mine
it fell too far from God’s grace
that’s why he went to rest
because his head hurt
so much



Liger, Liger, Burning Bright (Or Bennifer in Space)

some things are hopelessly
drawn to each other:
magnets
tongues and frozen metal
Bennifer
continents who similarly
just can’t let go and
may one day meld
their frail identities into Neopangaea
or possibly Amasia or Aurica
who sound more like old flames
meant to be together
delighting paparazzi
as their tectonic plates touch base

in some four billion years
Andromeda and Milky Way will hook up
so eagerly waited by the fandom
it’s already christened Milkomeda
the liger of space
the great cosmic anti-Brexit
the heroes merge their identities
and while that may cast out a star or two
no celestial bodies are
likely to be crushed
only the heart of Perseus
but in another few billion years
that, too, should have healed



About the author:

Maija Haavisto has had two poetry collections published in Finland: Raskas vesi (Aviador 2018) and Hopeatee (Oppian 2020). Her English poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Moist, Capsule Stories, ShabdAaweg Review, The North, Streetcake, ANMLY, Eye to the Telescope, Shoreline of Infinity and Kaleidoscope. She does poetry readings on Youtube @DiamonDie. Follow her on Twitter @DiamonDie.

Image by siberian_beard from Pixabay