Author Archives: Ellyn Touchette

About Ellyn Touchette

Ellyn Touchette is a poet, biologist, and behavioral health professional from Portland, Maine. She likes to lift weights and can synthesize a mean batch of triphenylphosphonium bromide. Her poetic endeavors hang out here:

Two Poems – Ellyn Touchette


Manic Episode;
A Spectacle in Three Acts

It was a reasonable motorcycle
when you consider the sheer
number of areas you can get to 
atop a bike or a god or a horse
or a brand new Discover card,
the folks from the mail ad all eager to give
a young woman the chance to spend
a weekend rocketing to god-
only-knows where, itinerary full 
of Alaska, Atlantis, Andromeda, 
not one component un-componented, 
so I am not sure I understand 
the problem.
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Three Poems – Ellyn Touchette



Bar Games

It is a Saturday night. I am at a party where I do not belong, 
half blinded by eight shots of bootlegged whiskey.
I am a hot, fresh seventeen. The boy I want 
to stop wanting whispers that I should kiss a woman. 
For him. He points one out. She is dancing, 
four feet in the air with her hands on the ceiling. 
A bartender is looking up her skirt. This
is the story of how I fingered a stranger on,
and promptly fell from, the bar at Alpha Gamma Rho.
When I wake, sore and cloudy in the boy’s arms, 
it seems that I can no longer masquerade as a straight woman. 
A sprained ankle hurts like a mother 
who delivers blind condemnations.
It is too easy to stay quiet, to hide your weekends
from a Catholic family. It is too easy to kiss girls
at frat parties, to let whiskey be your social justice,
to exchange a woman you love in the evening
for a masculine hand to hold by daylight.
Do not let the movies fool you—
a night like this does not taste like the revolution.
It tastes like Jameson, like vomit, and a little
like a speechless car ride with your mother. It tastes like too many
almost-sentences, like jokes without punchlines. 
Tastes like so much talk of phases that even your reflection 
looks like the least honest lunar eclipse you’ve ever seen.
Tastes like the last time you saw 
that boy who left you, the God-fearing one 
you don’t talk about anymore; how he spat his love 
onto your shoes when you told him what you were, like he thought
maybe your sense of self worth needed shining.
Tastes like a poster in a boy’s bedroom of two women 
covered in soap who paw at each other but stare at the camera.
Two women who grope at the love of a spectator
they will never need to meet. It is a joke without a punchline:
Two women climb onto a bar. One falls off. 
They both go home with boys. 

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