Amanda Montei

Dear Jon,



It’s not that I’m dreaming of leaving

It’s just that there is so much two-ness

I’m trying to deal with the two-ness

the way you look at me


the way you ask about

the general state of things

like it’s okay

to wake up

and be my husband


The two-ness of waking

the two hot bodies hot

the two mouths

the two stretches

and forgetting

Oh God


I didn’t mean to hit a soft spot

I just want to tell you

that sometimes the ocean feels so far away

and it feels like no one swims in it

and I don’t even like the ocean

I hate fish


But you are the ocean


Oh God

I’m sorry

Dear Jon,



I’ve been thinking about desire

about the interval

about wanting to return to myself

about Hannah Wilke’s vaginas


That might be what this is about

I can only go towards you

I want to go away


Or maybe it’s just that I stopped jogging

and this city is fat


I really will cry when it snows, Jon

I’m not even kidding


Mourning nothing is the most difficult

Mourning is impossible

It’s not you, Jon

It’s me

Dear Jon,



I’ve been thinking about the war

About how we are the only ones left in the world


Maybe we should go away, Jon

Maybe we are in the wrong place

Maybe we should drive for nine days again

Maybe we could enjoy it this time


I tried so hard to make you understand

what I was thinking on that trip

from Padua to Milan

but you acted like a spoiled child


I couldn't keep on hurting you

now I only have the courage

because I'm far away

this is sudden for me too


I don’t want to be anywhere

but the ocean

with the little boy

who represents something


I just want to write about my pregnant body

and about your pregnant body, Jon

I just want the little boy to worry less

and be proud of himself



AMANDA MONTEI‘s poetry and fiction has recently appeared or is forthcoming in P-Queue, Gigantic, Joyland, Explosion Proof MagazineDelirious HemPANK, and others. Her critical writing has appeared in Performing Ethos, Harriet: The BlogPAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art, and Ms. Magazine. Her book Dinner Poems, co-authored with Jonathan Rutzmoser, is forthcoming from Bon Aire Projects. She is currently a doctoral student in the English department at the State University of New York at Buffalo.