Don’t be apologetic when you’re talking about yourself, I tell C. over dinner. Your story is your story, I say with conviction, my hand on the cup steady. She was talking about an awkward conversation she had with a co-worker.
I’m so sorry I’m like this, I tell M. awhile ago. I really am, I say again. I don’t want all our time talking together to be like this, I added.
I am asked, How are you today? I want to answer: My life is this. But also: my life is shit.
If you believe in the magic of language,
then Elvis really Lives
and Princess Diana foretold I end as car spin.
If you believe the letters themselves
contain a power within them,
then you understand
what makes outside tedious,
how desperation becomes a rope ends it.
The circular logic that allows senator to become treason,
and treason to become atoners.
That eleven plus two is twelve plus one,
and an admirer is also married.
That if you could just rearrange things the right way
you’d find your true life,
the right path, the answer to your questions:
you’d understand how the Titanic
turns into that ice tin,
and debit card becomes bad credit.
How listen is the same as silent,
and not one letter separates stained from sainted.