Ten Poems for a Hotter July

1:
I can’t quite believe he’s really sitting over there.
On the couch, as a boyfriend,
And we’re living together
And it’s going well.
He cannot be real,
Like sixteen-year-old-me would have been thrilled,
That’s all I wanted in the world, to be wanted, normal, and accepted,
And a boyfriend was the key to all that.
Now he sits there, on the couch, and he’s all that.
I keep forgetting he’s real.
When I get dementia in a couple years, I will one hundred percent not remember his exists. I’m so used to it being just me.

2:
I did it all alone.
That was what I could tell myself about how much better I was than my sister,
Well, yes, she did this and that,
But look at all I did,
All by myself,
I didn’t have anyone to rely on, it was just me.
Except now it’s not.
There’s someone who comes in and asks me if there’s anything he can do to help.
And now I don’t know if it’s better or worse, and which is the hard way of the two.

3:
I thought it would get better,
After I got what I always wanted.
Once I had someone who loved me for me,
And was supportive of my bullhonkey, and mental illness, was cute, and had his shit together,
Who would visit a taxidermy museum on a road trip with me,
But it’s not,
My depression is still hanging around,
My anxiety still plagues.
And I keep telling myself it’s not fair,
It’s not fair.
This was supposed to fix me.
I just want to be normal.

4:
The down key on my keyboard is stuck.
You wouldn’t think it’d make that much of a difference,
But it does.
It makes excel sheets hell.
And every time I open my laptop and the key doesn’t strike properly,
I think, ah yes, this, this is the time when the misstriking key will break the camel’s back.

5:
There are some words I just don’t like,
So I don’t use them,
And I frown when other people use them,
Because they just don’t sound right.
I have no explanation, I act with instinct here.
But like, damn, that’s such a terrible word.

6:
He walked in as I was writing these,
And I noticed how much I like the bridge of his nose,
Where it bows out a little bit,
Do other people like random parts of his face too?
How many times has someone sat next to him on the bus and thought how nice his nose bridge is?
Or do you have to clock in a certain amount of hours spent looking in the vicinity of someone’s face before you can start to say,
My,
What a nice nose-bridge, my good man.

7:
I do nothing all summer, and think of all I could have been doing.
All I could have done.
Instead of crying on the floor with a fan going in the window.
If other people were me, they’d be so accomplished by now.
If I were better than I am,
(Why am I not better than I am?)
I would already have published and chosen a specific field,
And be doing radio spots filled with love and success,
And people citing me.
Instead, I can tell you how great the goodreads top-twenty, high-fantasy romance novels are.

8:
My mom worries my brother doesn’t sing enough to his son.
She thinks the baby won’t be talking enough,
And you know,
She’s already worried that the mother isn’t quite the thing,
And doesn’t quite talk enough to that beautiful baby girl.
I say, Mom, it’s probably okay.
And then the next day, here I am worrying that her vocabulary is a little small.

9:
They want to know what to get me for my birthday when all I want is money.
I’m moving across the country,
Just give me the cash.
Well no honey, I want you to buy something frivolous instead,
Just for you,
Maybe some clothes you’ve had your eye on?
Like, lady, give me my free, pass-go tax and leave me alone.
Here’s a link to a sweater, I say instead.

10:
It was even bad on vacation you know?
I was even having trouble getting out of bed on vacation.
Like, at that point, it has to be not my fault, right?
Like I was going to get onion rings at a place I like and go to a bookstore,
That’s prime –
I want to shower so I can go –
Motivation.
And yet, I was stuck on the bed
With the water running
For twenty minutes.
Telling myself to get up,
And then saying, well we don’t have to shower,
We can just turn on the faucet.
Then we can pull the curtain.
Then we can not be such a failure, my goodness.

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