Ava Chapman

walk around the fucking block

wearing my brother’s sweater

ice pack under to stun the muscle back

pre-panic, re-wind, if you can


will my daughter feel this too

when I hold her will I feel like I am also holding myself

late at night torn as she leaves – the door open


trace my sources out like a vein

everyone before, everyone after

g-d is visiting & whispering in my ear

looking like every version of myself I will ever be

& have ever been

holding. holding.


time is a dam that stops us from breaking

into ourselves, interloped, interspersed

holding. holding.


I want to be my own mother, just for a second

warm my skin, hold my surface

the way you can only love someone other

holding. holding.


my friend has found

a table to eat at, prayers rising

she is reaching through the space between

our fingers, gestures breach our hope

& every incidental harm


everyone I’ve loved in the past I love now

the breath won’t form into words

doctor says if the sickness continues

my throat will kill me


& that is not a metaphor


in the future i will install adblock in my dreams

one day my brother will wake with a salient longing for

        a samsung refrigerator

& everyone will


but we will install adblock in our dreams

visions of my body in green and blue, circling

a 3 second darkness, empty billboard


small fish hatching, swimming, learning

to move in synchronicity – tadpoles become frogs



gap in understanding

gap in meaning

gap in, hitch in, break, fracture, loss

short canyon, walking on air

before realize, you are falling


before realize, these desires

are not your own, are not anyone’s

god, does anyone know?

who they are? without?


candy cereal eye level at grocery store

sticking sticky fingers in for a taste

cinnamon crunch, lucky charms,


taught even in hunger

trained even in


cover eyes further darkness immersion in

sensory deprivation, wanting, wanting,


dreaming, dreaming, something like touch


there’s a program for that

we can forget its faults, silicone slight difference

warm skin revelation, real skin, becomes other

stranger, simulate experience

slow gain of consciousness

who among us remembers the womb?

poem where my mom & i go to the moon

once on the moon, we state the obvious ‘we feel floaty’ &

after some experimental jumping, ‘this was not worth giving elon musk our life savings’



in this life we are rich enough to regret a flight to the moon

like one does ordering a cheese grater on amazon

or a pair of tweezers

or anything else, small passivity under capital

we console ourselves by unwrapping our lunches from their beeswax


& looking at the blue pocked surface

she says, ‘i was reading a book about the moon

–a queer narrative, a prose poem’

something my friends with fresh red tattoos have already posted

sitting on their knees at bus stops, yellow earthair crowding

but i cannot get her to say anything more about it


except will i help her with the starter?

lame cuts through the dough still

& i make flowers on its surface


remember biodiversity

& the small joy of having plants

you will eventually kill

our pots of dry leaves

still in the front yard


we have no luck with life

hipbones too narrow, an aversion

to blood & conflict


in the dark similar night i ask if you thought about me before i was born

you say: not until the very last moment

Ava Chapman has recently been described as “fascinating and terrifying” and they are holding onto that. They have a very laissez-faire approach to art-making but some of it can be found at avarosechapman.com.