Regina Napolitano

Stone Fruit Season

every time the parking spot in front

of my apartment is available, I scream


I ask the DJ to queue up

“Super Bass” and all the girls know all

the words

when I was younger I turned on my

string lights and the Al Green tape

You told me to close my eyes and

imagine my dream house, here’s the

courtyard with a bath in it, here’s the sweet

peas wrapping themselves around the porch

Loneliness is just like any other emotion

it fades, I don’t have to do anything about it

my repressed rage said “weep”

she said, “look at my hands” she said,

“come into my cave”

I said, “Sir, I live here, please do not throw

trash on my stoop.” He said “No you don’t!

No you don’t!” and covered his ears

then the goddess was exalted, she glowed orange

and gave me a rock engraved with the word,


The nectarines in the grocery store whisper

“Abundance! Abundance! Abundance, Regina,


tomorrow I will be a water molecule

tomorrow I will be a water molecule

embraced by all the other water molecules

in the holy communion of Lake Merritt

the next day— I’m

a cloud

in three days, i’ll be dew

in four, rain

in five—I’ll live in my

ex-boyfriend’s sink

six days from now I’ll

rocket through a pipe

next week I’ll be bottled at the

Monster Energy factory

In 8 days I’ll be gulped

down my favorite student’s esophagus

I was no good at being an animal

I’m happier without a brain

my tears go to graduate school

my tears published an article in an academic journal

entitled “the intersection of fear and hopelessness:

wallowing as a coping strategy”

They had to submit their draft 9 separate times,

each previous submission was too water-logged

the article was well-received and my tears received

water-soaked thank-you emails and the wetness

flowed out of their computer until my tears became

one giant-mega-tear that flowed over every city on

earth, drowning and saving each inhabitant

“at last our misery has come to end our misery!”

everyone cried out, “at last we have been literally

drowned in sorrow!”

Alternate Realities I Visit When This One Is Too Hard To Bear


I DJ a dance night once a week

at a club where the girls compliment my clothes

and no one has ever taken advantage of my drunkenness

It is enough for me

the lights in the darkness

the voices

and all the bodies


I can handle anything else that happens that week

because I know I will be here

alone and together

light and dark


I hate fuck you against a wall

I know this is self-destruction

but we are both 23 and we both live at home and we both have depression

and the worst part about my personality is that I have a low tolerance for boredom

so we knock into each other

over and over

when I kiss you I think about how hard my heart is now

how hard you made my heart

I think this means I am winning

but you’re still winning, aren’t you?


We borrow each other’s clothes

and get a thrill whenever someone compliments the other’s mark on our body

During your gallery openings, we sneak away to the women’s bathroom

and make out, all boxed red wine lips and teeth

We read each other poetry in bed

We feed each other and every plate is a love letter

I wonder how the hard world can carry such softness

when boys lent me their jackets,

I became all floppy arms and small shoulders

but my jackets are only one size larger than yours

I can’t protect you

you can’t protect me either


I have escaped

I have my own apartment and a cat

and I don’t need you

I don’t need anyone

I wake up every morning at 6:30am,

go on a 45 minute run,

and arrive at work at 8am to teach 9th graders about how you can

hold onto words when you cannot hold onto the world

I was not a morning person, but I have even escaped myself

when I come home, I am greeted by the papers to grade and the stillness

I drink tea at a wooden desk and buy myself flowers once a week

It is enough for me

Regina Napolitano is a poet & high school English teacher living in Oakland, CA. She is a communist & a weirdo.