for Michael Gizzi
I lift my pen off the paper.
It is 4:20 and outside cars are honking and tires
squeal on the pavement.
TVs blare in each room
like the world will forget about us if we don’t make enough noise.
This novel is shit in a hand-basket,
too heavy to lift off the cracked concrete street.
For a few moments, I leave it laying docile under dozens
of stomping feet. I drop it off right on the corner of
W 23rd and 6th.
I rub my hands together greedily, malice glints in my eyes
and I hope this novel feels sorry for causing me such grief,
though it is unaware of the beating it takes.
Why did Keith betray her anyway?
Is getting a girl pregnant a big enough catastrophe
to fuel a novella?
I rip out a page and crumple it with a fist.
Bitching teenagers are not how I want to spend
this Saturday but it’s too cold to go for a walk.
Maybe I’ll boil some water for tea.
Can’t anyone light a joint around here without turning heads?
It’s like the circus is in town and I’m the featured act.
I think I forgot my clubs and rings in the trunk.
I dig through my closet for a spare pen and find a ballpoint
hidden in a corner I didn’t know existed.
A fist-sized spider books it toward my foot accusingly,
as if to say “Hey you bastard, clean out this shithole.”
If my own closet isn’t clean enough for a spider,
my own clothes must stink like rotten meat slabbed on a sidewalk
on a sticky summer day when the sun threatens to melt the world alive.
Maybe Keith should just lift a gun off someone’s belt
and pull the trigger to his temple.
Then she wouldn’t have to worry about him fucking it up,
because that’s what fathers are best at anyway.
The phone rings and I let it go.
I’d rather spend the day with bitching teenagers
than listen to anything this world has to say.
While not reading, painting, and with her family, Aimee is finishing up a YA manuscript. She graduated from Roger Williams University with a degree in Creative Writing this past May.