A cockroach in the grass is so different from a cockroach
on the bathroom floor. This is how I’ve learned my empathy

is conditional, how I learned that I’m just another body

in space, in context, running into walls like a Roomba,
which by the way did you hear was gathering your info?

Making a comprehensive map of your house? This is why

we put electrical tape over our webcams and leave the shower
running. Because someone told me that the world is just a game

of survival. This rings like stone against stone in the cold

of the night. I mean, I wish I could trust the lines of my palm.
I wish it was so simple. I’ve come to believe, instead, a life is

made mostly of small talk and forgetting details. Everything

defined by what it’s not. An iconoclast must have a door
to throw their body against. So how much of this poem

will you actually remember when you leave this page?

I let my words form shapelessly in my mouth. They fall
from me like mistakes into a punch bowl. In this beautiful

-ly lit room. The decorations nice, but not too over-the-top.

Everything is so perfectly composed all the time,
and I’m just no good at that. Every part of me spins

in regret. Once, when I was younger, I drilled a hole

right through a mountain. I shouted the things I thought
you needed to hear when you were open, like the morning.

I pulled the sword up from the darkness, but truth changed

the farther I got from the source. Now, I sleep,
and my inaction is unavoidably loud. I’ve come to believe

in this idea of potential because there are so many boats

that haven’t sunk yet. There are so many TV shows
that haven’t been canceled. I’m coiling my spring tighter

and tighter, but I don’t know how much longer it can hold.

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