Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Why Can’t You Just Be Nice

We all need the sun today,
yesterday, tomorrow —
all summer in the now,
and I resent being told
to provide it.

Put on your makeup,
you’ll feel better.

Wear a bra.

Be creative.


Be nice,
can’t you just
be nice for once?

For my birthday
this year, I woke
up in tears, fired
up the percolator,
and wrote some
obscure metaphor
that only (maybe)
archers understand.
I’m not sure
I even get it.

Target missed.

The cupcakes
I baked for myself
and my husband
were rocks.

Jack called and we sang
Happy Birthday
to each other
in the key of hysteria.

Outside in the rain,
worms celebrated.

I read something tidy
about how what you write
can never be finished until
you’re embarrassed by it.

What a relief.

Everything I’ve written
can be put to bed,
tucked under the covers,
each word nodding off
on greasy pillows of shame.


My mother
wanted to see
what I’d be like
as an old woman,
and well,
this is it:

I am not nice.

The other night
when I let my hair down,
a stink bug droned out,
pinged its body against
the mirror where I caught
my folded face.

My middle finger
is swollen.

This poem is

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