Sorry I’m late

I was still dreaming of a new system

Where I’d be a decorated war hero

Just for showing up to work

And that I’d earn a purple heart

If I just took a day off

When I silenced my alarm

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Mother, if you’re reading this (knowing full well that you shouldn’t)

I have been invited as a speaker
on the subject of poetry
by a local high school
and Boston University

So I guess you were wrong
when you said higher education
wouldn’t be a fit for me
and that I was doing well enough
as a cashier at Macy’s

and maybe you shouldn’t have thrown out
that poetry book I made for you
dedicated, decorated and bound
while I was in high school

citing the reasons
that it was a study
on your bad parenting
and that you found it depressing

because someday
it could be worth something

Vacation Over

since I was prescribed medication which made me stop dreaming

i never thought id see him again and when i did

we were both on vacation. he was with his wife and child

i was with my boyfriend. He drifted so close that i recognized him

by the scent of  dial soap and Marlboros — when i turned my head

I could’ve measured his beard

I almost slipped past until he held me with his eyes

and asked “Aren’t you glad to see me again?”

my hands fumbled until they found a railing behind me

so i could hide my knees buckling. I stared back thinking

every man I’ve dated up until recently has looked like him

finally, i said “Excuse me,” and I sidestepped

I didn’t realize that was a qualification

I dreamt I was  teaching a group of young women

how to survive trauma inflicted by men

on the first day, I wrote on the board

“You don’t owe him anything”

and a woman said “Come on

We already knew that

We just need to know

how to be whole again

after it happens”

and everyone agreed

I said “I’m sorry, then

I’m actually not qualified

to teach this class

I can only deal

in fractions”

and I left

As ready as I’ll ever be

I’m perched on the end of my bed,
hunched over, my head is in my hands
im about to be whisked off to Connecticut
to see some band, i dont know which

It’s been two hours and im supposed to be packing
im still naked. im thinking about things
im stuck reliving.

im still thinking about
that fucking dream
it left me shaken.