“there is no love only proof of love” by Nadia Arioli

there is no love only proof of love

bob ross is who / i would like god to be / happy accidents and then a miracle at the last second / where it all comes together i would like / a soothing voice saying / its your world / whatever you want / like to know it’s not all part of a plan / but will work in the end god / it will work so well / you can hang it in your living room / the works of hands and days days / ago i thought of / a girl i went to college with she / made her arms into birch trees / when jesus broke up with her she carved her legs / reverse carving rather / making forms into trees / then she dated someone else / all the boys loved her / and this someone elses exgirlfriend said why shes / ugly i was confused / because she ended it with him / and the birch girl was model thin / how could someone be both thin and ugly / the exgirlfriend and i smoked a joint / until things made sense but / bob ross is who i want to smoke a fat one with / my husband tells me / bob ross did the all the paintings beforehand / off camera / and during the show he would just copy those / i am mad at god these days / have been since i went larch in winter / sharp and leafless / the only conifer to / cheated like being told a miracle was just a rabbit through / a false table / and the rabbit has fleas / we all need our assurances pallet knife / and water / what was that old saying / happy little trees

Nadia Arioli is editor in chief of Thimble Literary Magazine (@thimblelitmag). They have chapbooks from Cringe-Worthy Poetry Collective, Dancing Girl Press, Spartan, and a full-length from Luchador. They were nominated for Best of the Net in 2021 by As It Ought to Be, West Trestle Review, Angel Rust, and Voicemail Poems.