I can’t quite make normal work for me.
The angle, the navigating, the placement.
I’ve lost the how to manual for contorting
my body to use makeshift MacGyver skills
and filthy underbrush to survive on.
I’m not sure how it happened.
I’m not sure who or where I am.
I remember expecting rain.
I remember a heartbreak at a hotel.
I remember a ship in a bottle in a bathtub
and drinking wine and laughing.
There was an argument.
There was a gunshot.
There was screaming.
And there I was, still me, but no longer me.
I’m so weary and numb and I’ve lost blood.
My neck sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies
every time I turn my head.
Are you truly there?
Am I finally here?
I’m relieved you found me, saved me from
myself and an episodic cliffhanger ending.
I just need to rest.
On this stone pillow.
Lie on this forest floor bed.
Please don’t try to wake me.
You’ll only be disappointed when I forget
all the names for love during the night.
Gold Rush Girl
For Amy Lawson
She takes the enormous book off the
shelf gingerly, valuing the contents.
Like a robin’s egg that might crack
under the slightest pressure.
She tackles the giant pile of assorted
stuffed animals in her room.
Like a rugby player with no fear or
concerns about gravity.
She wades into the vast ocean with
determination and curiosity.
Like an upstart Olympic swimmer with
Something to prove.
She plucks the guitar strings with
the gusto of naïve discovery.
Like the man following the waterfall
into the cave in the song “2112.”
She peddles her bike up the steepest hill,
one lungful at a time.
Like the Little Engine That Could.
and says that
she loves me
and I hold onto the words
with all of my might and
I hope that they are enough to
help us navigate the mountains ahead.
The only way to live forever anymore
is through online videos that go viral.
If I’m fifteen and think quarantines
are utter bullshit, this is the only way.
At first, I ate fries out of a trashcan.
This got me daredevil friends and
thousands of sheep-like followers.
Then I ran naked and screaming through
a JC Penny’s on Valentine’s Day.
Then we took turns crashing our bikes
into parked cars and faking injuries.
The adrenaline flowed.
The double dares increased.
There are no sacred cows anymore.
So I got high on paint thinner and
ran amok at the local grocery store.
I licked all the produce and meat packs.
I set fire to the toilet paper, pissed on
the school supplies, and broke all the
medicine and alcohol bottles I could find.
They say I contaminated thousands.
They say I should be tried as an adult.
They say where were the parents or the
police while all this was going down?
But they don’t get it and they never will.
#TrashFries is going to live forever now.
You’re all just hopelessly jealous bitches
because you didn’t think of it first.
And you’ll never forgive me for being
so full of life and completely wasting it.