this is all retrospective
by stacey shapiro
she was always sexier than life
but both sisters have a gravity
that everybody secretely dreads
they both weigh down on me
oh, they will not let any of us be
i heard the smiths say so
and i said oh my god i agree
thatâ€™s that opinion thatâ€™s never gone away
that i never took the time to say out loud
i am so grateful someoneÂ said how i feel
and i didn’t evenÂ ask them to orÂ anything
iâ€™ll never believe
i know what i’m talking about
and neither will you
no matter what the rest of us say.
it’s okay. you’re gonna be okay.
itâ€™s not fair that
never finding a way out
isnâ€™t even on the endangered list
powerful verbs like that
are a species, a league of their own
but it feels very good
when i quickly inhale as much fresh air as i can
when letting go of unneccesary things
as i hear themÂ dropÂ dead
on the ground down below the grand canyon
iâ€™m not gonna dare to cross
another old rickety bridge
from indiana jones
or some trash
the air crashed on the vines and they
whipped me across the knees of my dungarees
they ripped right thru them and
made my skin bleed
yes, i think i’m gonna pass and try other new things.
i once saw a decadent old sandal
flipping on by the
neighbourhood stray cats.
she didnâ€™t seem like she had places to go.
i saw a lot of myself in that crazy sandal.
i resented her for that.
i called her a spinster and went on my way.
i get so scared of existence sometimes
that it’s inescapable and
there’s nothing i can do except wait it out
because i can’t even begin to describe it
i don’t really know what to say
it’s overwhelming, is all
maybe two or three times every two years
generally during the winter this happens.
(the season to pray will be smooth sailing):
the price is right and soap operas
just blend in
and end up looking the same as me
thereâ€™s no difference in anything
and nothing has ever been done about it.
i nuzzle my blanket
and think iâ€™d be better off
one of the clusters of lint
iâ€™m ripping off
and making a pile of
on the arm of momâ€™s suede couch
iâ€™ve traced squiggles into
with my right fingertip
what an exciting desirable life
what a big happy family
i wont even test myself and try things
so precarious like turning on the tv
when that mood takes over anymore.
every decision becomes a pivotal life choice.
microwavable hors d’ouvres or microwavable pizza.
pillow on the head or foot of my bed.
the course of my future depends on it all.
when this happens
i would never think anything bad of smoking
i would never even dare to quit
because i have nothing better to do
then allow myself to waste away
iâ€™ve had enough cigarette breaks
to last a teeny tiny totâ€™s lifetime
i grant myself these breaks
â€œtheyâ€™re something iâ€™m doing for myselfâ€,
i reassure my headaches
i ask them politely to pipe down
their rhythmic throbbing lull me to sleep
nothing a tylenol pm could do.
it becomes hard facing
needing to get up beforeÂ double digit hours
if there is too much day
what if iâ€™ll run out of things to do
for the rest of my life
i need to wave farewell to this
i need to go
thatâ€™s beautiful, that exists
before i start crying from mourning
goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.