Poetry

October 15, 2013      

catalogue by Hannah White

the coffee pot drips the brita squeezes every last drop of clean water from the tap
you spend a lot of time trying to get all that you can get from the
pile of shit that sits outside your bedroom door waiting for you
that you wade through past posturing figures whose snickering has a tendency to
stiffen and stink can you believe they call this living they call this
being a human being and you swear you spend a lot of time
trying to enjoy what you’re supposed to enjoy to wring
every last drop of pleasure from the mob that will claw you when you
find yourself again with nothing to say or just all the wrong things my god it’s
so fucking easy to spit out some shit instead of gold and
you remember that playground game
the one where the ground is a lake of lava and you have to
hop from swing to stair to slide to ladder to survive and you know it’s funny the way it is
the way when you’re grown up they call this
living this hopping over quicksand this effort this never-ending effort and you
keep on waiting for the day when it gets easy like they say it will
the day when you can dance without your self-consciousness condensing into
cold sweat that trickles down the nape of your neck
when you can get drunk without wondering about the nutritional content of the beer you’ve been
drinking when you can talk to an adult without feeling like a child when you can
spend time with your friends without counting down the minutes until it’s over
when you can squeeze out the molecules of life like a great big hug and not a killer’s
embrace when the effort is your work and the easy part is everything else and when
medication isn’t a word that comes to mind very often and when you
don’t have to write checklists to remind you how to do the things that
other people do but still
you can’t help but wonder
what if it doesn’t “get better”
what if you would have been better off an appliance in a catalogue
a stainless steel exterior
an unchallenging lifespan
from factory to mailbox to kitchen table to trashcan you think no one could
scare you there nothing there could suck you dry there you think everything would be
nothing there and then it would end.

hwhite_wordriotAbout the author:

Hannah White is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania. She works at the Kelly Writers House in Philadelphia and is currently interning at the University of Pennsylvania Press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Sensible Nonsense Project, Cleaver Magazine, Gadfly Online, and The Birch Journal.

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