May 2015 - Comments Off

Lily Arnell

I Am The Piece of Elevated Sidewalk You Stumble Over

I will buy a sausage, egg, and cheese from McDonald's.
They will forget the egg and I will not tell them.
I will eat half in my car and think it's a good compromise.
About 3 minutes later, while driving, I will unwrap it and begin eating the remaining half of the sausage, egg, and cheese.
I will ask myself, "What am I doing?"
I will not know how to answer.
I will not stop.
I will taste onion and I won't feel good about it.
I will eat the rest of the sandwich and feel proud when i don't taste onion again.
I will try to imagine the contents of the meat I just ate.
I will convince myself that I have to vomit.
I will chant: Breathe in, I am here, breathe out, I am here.
I will feel distracted and a little more calm.
I will scratch my head and realize I haven't showered in 3 days.
I will listen to the radio and realize that I really, truly enjoy 80's punk music.
I will say "I want to die" when I pull into the driveway of the college i'm attending.
I will park my car and pull back my greasy hair into a ponytail.
I will re-do it several times and each time it will look no different than the first attempt.
I will be the first in the classroom.
I will be 30 minutes early.
I will sit in the back row all the way to the left and i'll like it.
I will not talk and i'll like it.
I will nod my head when my teacher says things like, "okay?" or "right?"
I will imagine a romantic relationship with my philosophy teacher.
I will tell myself that I have 'daddy-issues.'
I will not care.
I will smile at people who don't smile back.
I will commit to reading when around people.
I will feel alienated and I will know it's mostly my own fault.
I will not care.
I will look stupid all day.
I will want to bury myself under a picnic table.
On the way to my room, I will hope that my roommate is in class.
She will be knitting on her bed and listening to Serge Gainsbourg and I will think, "I want to die."
I will stand in the doorway and smile like an idiot.
I will not know how to behave.
I will say stupid things.
I will say I'm going to library.
I will get high in my car and feel paranoid.
I will think about good things to say to my roommate and other people.
I will fuck up every conversation I ever have with anyone.
I will announce that I'm autistic so people perceive my strangeness as out of my control.
I will get a tattoo as a form of passive self-mutilation.
I will cut off my hair to feel something like 'excited.'
I will look at my phone and see that it's only 2:00 PM.
I will sigh and think "I want to die" when I remember that there will always be tomorrow.

Published by: in Issue 1: Fall 2014, Poetry, Volume 71

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