Saturday, April 17, 2010


The food isn’t real,
we made it all up
But there is something that nothing keeps quiet,
a yammering that wants to crowd everything out.
And I keep watching the TV
and letting the words and words and words
--those words, we made them all up--
remind me that I must be
hungry, I must be,
and I listen to the words
until they feel like something real.

And I have wanted to be beautiful
and I have wanted to be regular
and I have wanted to be hairless
and I have walked in shoes that made me cry,
and I have looked down to find
every part of my actual body lacking,
even when it walked without the shoes and smelled
like a living thing, and went into the street
to look at the moon at some dark time
when I should have been asleep,
when the rules say sleep, the clock.

Even when I laugh because we made it all up,
I go back to bed wondering if my neighbor saw me,
thinking I am not beautiful now because I am not young.

If I take ten steps back
and say we made it all up
and I don’t want this now,
I want to catch water and wear warm rags
and watch the moon at some dark time,
quiet, all of you, quiet now,
they will say she is missing something,
it’s God,
her marbles.

There is a thing to choose here. When I do
all the words and words and words will fall out of my mind
and the people who like me funny will like me silent
and the people who like me smooth will like me shriveled
and my warm rags and my hair, gray and coarse as a horse’s tail
and I will be happy with a bowl of beans
and lettuce that grew next to the house
And the house can just fall apart
because I will die no matter what.

But I go to work and do things
to keep the wheels turning,
teaching people to read
so they can be informed voters
and tell “Good Night Moon” to their children,
and know which pill to swallow,
and finally find Shakespeare and Socrates,
and words and words and words,
even these words, and I made them all up.


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