Chris Stroffolino, p.5


I think I now understand
that you have to
want your writing to reach
people you don’t want to have sex with
as much as you want it to reach those you do—
but can you do it, for once,
without having to act so goddamn self-reliant!

Can’t you consider the trees
that for 10 months out of 12
are more allergic to us than we to them?
or the geriatric ward that comes every winter,
the winter that comes every workday
e’en in the form of an airconditioner
you can only have access to by leaving your home without it.
The home you like to call your soul
just so you can feel resentfully soulless around us.

You don’t make enough
for doubling your salary to be worth it,
so you might as well side with fun.
Indifferent fun that will never appreciate you
for being so dour on its behalf
as if sharing your sorrows was more authentic
and our friendship more profound
than your latest fling.

Surely I haven’t “evolved” enough to crawl
out of the sea with the scales
I thought I could fool you into believing was fur

If you could kiss while talking,
the waiting room wouldn’t have to disguise itself
as a place of transcendence lined with trophies,
suburbs wouldn’t be so jealous of cities
and post-Soviet Nato would stop bombing itself.

Soon, you may get to thinking you have
to keep what you’re writing private now
because in it you are too blatantly trying
to figure out what to do next
and these writings will lose their value
if they are seen by others
before you have acted on them

You, who in journalism and song,
allege the difference between saying things
and analyzing why you say them
who believe you’ve found yourself a wall
with no water but no thirst
to be one of the privileged islands
I am still unable to see
for the largely submerged mountain range
of which they are a part.