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Don’t want to live forever, dwelling
spiteful on the bad old days, the kelly green
earth with its filthy nooks & crannies &
everybody dying young of typhus & childbirth
when forever was a decade or else Valhalla.
I imagine all the virgin martyrs reclining
in the rickety golden halls of the afterlife &
shaking their dear old heads at us deeply
hung over on our couches like television
heroes rushing headlong into an oblivion
we do not understand but prefer to a future
where nothing wicked this way comes.
I stand accused of a bunker mentality &
to that I say come find me at my place
out on Pulaski & see if familiarity breeds
something more than contempt. Let the acid
wind play havoc in your hair. Get some
color in your cheeks. I fear I am doing this
poorly. Do you understand what I am saying?
Like you I read stories all my life & was
promised one of my own until someone
told me it was not to be. He dug it up
& dismantled the scaffold that kept hidden
what wanted hiding. Useless. I have made
from the soft & docile creature I would rather
not be—fucked to sleep with kicked-off socks
like white mice on the floor—an implacable
& household sort of deity who has no reason
to go looking anymore. Looking I mean
for the something lost somehow in my small
& crenellated globe though perhaps there is no
version of this world old enough to please me.
Photo courtesy of the author.
Hilary Vaughn Dobel is a native of Seattle, Washington and holds a BA from Princeton University and an MA from the University of Chicago. In 2012, she completed her MFA in poetry and literary translation at Columbia University. She lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts.
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