Consider Leaving

“Have you ever once considered leaving?”

My professor asks, as we’re talking about what’s next,

the possibilities


I think about the diners first

all items saturated with butter

the black coffee, the sausages

the names of all the waitresses

I think of the ocean, surrounding

the tourists i have learned to cash in on

The job, hard won, finally editing

I think of my boyfriend

and know, that on any whim,

he would absolutely come with me

I think about the tightknit community

i’ve fostered with good women

the soup they’ve made, the snow banks

ive climbed, only three or four,

to get to their cozy couches

for tea in a snowstorm

I think about my enemies

the gratuitous snow and ice and sleet

the parking bans, the accidents ive been in

the police


and I say, “No, not really.”

He says, “because out of state, there’s money

and I’m sure you could get into

some of these prestigious colleges in the city

but don’t you have to use your money

to fix your teeth? You could go to school

for free.”


“On second thought,” I say, “Yeah,

I could leave.

But how would I live?

I’ve found a job that really suits me.”


“They would provide you with a stipend

that would cover living expenses.

You would only work for them.”


I think again of the butter,

the sausages, the weight i’ve gained

My prior experiences living

the legacy of the starving artist

and I think, I could do it again


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