Eight poems for now. More later.
I took a drive with her.
We’d never been by ourselves before.
I tell her I’m quiet, that’s nothing wrong,
Which is a lie,
She tells me she wants to know me,
Then plies me with peppermint schnapps.
She tells me about her last week in Anchorage,
Hanging out with the man she had an affair with,
Taking a bump at a strip club,
Looking for that someone who will
Make her better, into the person she thinks she should be.
She tells me about her High School English teacher,
Who wrote her a poem,
Saying she was just waiting to fly.
All I see is a dreamer, with three kids, a small house,
And too much to burn.
Stop competing with me,
My name is listed on the undersides of game boards
With the date we played, and my final score.
I’ve had guys ask for my number.
I’m sorry you’re insecure.
There’s nothing here I’m trying to win.
My father sent me a gift in the mail,
She says she’s jealous.
I say it’s guilt money,
That’s nothing to hope for,
But I don’t think she believes me.
Whatever I have is worth it.
You don’t ask my kids why they weren’t at church on Sunday.
They’re in a safe space here.
School grounds. Dammit.
You don’t pressure them here.
All my instincts said protect.
I hate this weakness. Oh if only I were in a bigger town,
If I was Kanye’s better, faster, stronger,
I’ll never have the guts to stop it when I see it.
I’m going to have to deal with this about myself.
I drive on what’s left.
After the pot holes from sewage projects, rain, and only black gravel.
What’s left behind at the store after the barge comes through, and the rest of the community grabbed the fresh vegetables.
I love what’s left of the people they were.
I sleep on the bed from the woman who lived here before me,
Wearing clothes another dropped off at goodwill.
What can I love of what a monster creates?
Who am I to judge?
Can’t I sing along with a woman?
Admire a painting?
Can’t I read something,
Someone terrible wrote,
And not celebrate them?
Or by not ignoring them,
Am I giving the virus-filled pages ad revenue?
I have trouble dealing with insecure people,
I don’t think it’s because we have so much in common,
I think it’s because they can’t take a joke,
I can’t tease them,
I can’t push them,
And there’s no equality.
I sat on the couch,
My day off,
And ate the shortbread fresh from the oven,
Listened to Jazz at Massey Hall
And read a wallflower romance novel
In my new pair of Xtratufs.
I’d never been so happy with myself, or my life.
I’m having trouble saying I need attention,
I want attention,
I feel like I’m just become nagging,
Like my mother.