The Goblin King’s Love Language by Rita Feinstein

is gift-giving, and I don’t have room for all this crap.
Psilocybic peaches rotting in the crisper,
crystal balls sticky with grime.

The black snake shriveled to onionskin,
the wedding dress sulking unworn
at the very back of the walk-in closet.

Goodwill stops taking my donations.
My free boxes overflow onto the sidewalk.
There’s a landfill named after me,

a whole shuttle full of glitter-drenched
padded jackets and danger-red lipsticks
to be incinerated in the vacuum of space.

But I accept the love he gives, and I build
more shelving units for it, just as he accepts
my affection has no physical dimensions.

My love language is language itself.
I incant his name into my vanity mirror,
lie that he has no power over me,

then watching him jigsaw the stars
into brand new horoscopes
just to prove me wrong.


Rita Feinstein is the author of Life on Dodge (Brain Mill Press, 2018). Her work has appeared in Sugar HouseGrist, and Willow Springs, among other publications, and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets. She is a graduate of Oregon State University’s MFA program.

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