After Emily Pettit
This is no time to take the scenic route.
I’m talking about picnics,
and maybe earlobes. Tape measures,
soft-porn, ice cubes
shaped like hearts or the state of Wyoming.
I’m talking about making
mayonnaise from scratch.
The ocean is right there, love.
What are you waiting for?
I cannot vouch for the ethics
of this clairvoyance.
Diligently, I drink my Vitamin Water.
Seduction comes bubble-wrapped
in a cardboard box, inside another box
loaded with packing peanuts.
How wasteful. How excruciating.
I like it when the consequences
arrive in a squad car wearing bulletproof vests.
I know I’m not for everyone.
Some people say bruise
but I prefer the velocity
of contusion. Desire
is a starfish but today isn’t.
We can pick up, can’t we,
right where we left off.
Still Life with Hindsight and Mini Bar
The future requires a content warning.
Notwithstanding, I devour its cheesecake.
How better could I honor the soul’s rubber duckie
than by sailing it headfirst into the eye of the storm?
Again, like hope, the moon rises above the city.
Although bright, we accept our moon is but one of many.
Worst case scenario I disappoint others
as frequently as I disappoint myself. A five-year plan
becomes a ten-year plan becomes an ambulance
with a flat tire. Foolishly, I declined the chance
to be one of love’s early investors. Damn my Magic 8 Ball.
Damn hindsight and its tamper-proof packaging.
Frequently, no one wins the jackpot. At the restaurant
there was a tank of lobsters, just being lobsters.
Denial is an aging rock star. Goodbye?
An oxymoron. Though I expected the future
to make a grand entrance,
it slipped in quietly through the back door.
LARA EGGER is the author of How to Love Everyone and Almost Get Away with It (University of Massachusetts Press, 2021) which won the John C. Zacharis First Book award. Her poems have appeared, or will soon appear, in Ploughshares, Copper Nickel, Bennington Review, Conduit, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere. Originally from Australia, Egger now lives in Boston where she co-owns a Spanish tapas bar. She holds an MFA from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.