Five Dollar Poem for Jen Hitchcock

Tomorrow I will wake up and
(like most days)
slather lavender-scented aluminum under my armpits
and soak myself in floral fragrances
to avoid smelling like a human being.

I will put product in my hair and pink powder on my cheeks
and black paint on my eyelashes to avoid
looking like a human being.

I will crane my neck, tap my thumbs
on a screen, and strain my eyes to avoid looking
at other human beings.

I will widen my eyes and purse my mouth into a smirk
and click and zoom and edit and filter and crop
and edit and grain and “take a few more
just in case”
to impress other human beings.

I will visit my parents once a week and
call my abuela and tios and primos once every 6 months
to avoid feeling like a shitty human being.

I will consume and digest and shit
pesticide-contaminated, genetically modified
naturally and artificially flavored foods
to continue on living as a human being.

But tonight, I will lay under my warm covers
tucked away from the noises of this existence
and dream about being anything other than
a human being.

The truth, or something like it//This past week

The truth , or something like it,
becomes fissured between the soul
and the mirror
so I search for glimpses of it
between his lines and
in the subtleties of affectionate glances,
flushed cheeks,
and the irrepressible smiles which are almost
continuously contradicted by cold shoulders,
blank stares,
and unconvincing displays of stoicism .
I find a dissonance between love and pride
and another between who we are and who we pretend to be.

I lay by the sea, my toes pressed firmly into the sand
and stare up at the sky while a movie montage
fast-forwards through all the details I told myself
not to overlook.
The faces blur and instead my memories take the form
of feeling. The in-between bits seem muddy, melting
into tacky puddles at my feet. 

Time, I hold onto you with clammy fingers.
How hasn’t the neck of the hourglass
shattered in my hands yet? I search:
How to get a grip
on the shapeless, that which is all
around me yet drowns me?
Another dissonance found
between who I am,
and who I’ll become.
So I let the hand of Time slowly stitch over my perforations
and allow the promise of Death to gently iron out the seams.

Arbitrary Nothingness

stretch the corners of my lips and
press a staple through both edges
while melancholy crawls through my veins
and wraps itself up in my heart space.
maybe one day it will build a home within me
and become a luminescent blue-winged butterfly
fluttering away into the night as quickly as it lands.
if, for a second, I follow its flight into the ether and
catch a glimpse of the stars,
may they wisp me away from this body
caught up in its selfish existence,
and remind me of the arbitrary nothingness I share
with a common housefly.