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March 9, 2018 | Poetry


Jeanine Walker

10.10.12 photo


When I am most in touch
with who I am it turns out
I do not care about
food, crackers, salamanders, doctors,
diseases, or prostates.
I don’t really care very much
about biopsies, TV, jackets, or cats.
I really don’t care
if I am good looking or uglyish,
if my hair is trimmed,
if I have a ring around my belly,
whether or not I’ve eaten Special K.
I care about Minal, Cecily, and Pao
and how the world feels
less weighty around them.
I care—I do—about
moving my body through the air.
Whatever: molecules transform
and become part of my arms, my legs—that’s cool.
I miss my mother
and my corner desk
as I wrote and she wrote
with just the small space of a room between us.
That is a thing. But then there’s this stuff.
I have so much stuff.
World has taken me, taken over.
I don’t care about cooking
or earbuds, blankets, or sofas.
I care about my cousins—a lot.
My brothers. My dad.
I care about Matt in his Buick
and how when he died
some part of my heart
devoted itself to him forever,
which I thought was good
and now is permanent and I can’t change it
but really was the equivalent
of putting my ability to love in a vault,
of sliding shut some thick steel door,
of changing the part
that loves healthily and is curious
into a little glass menagerie
and then using it
as a window that looks out
onto a yard that is not at all lit
and is 100% dark
even though I am a normal-sized human
and should be
looking out windows that are more like
five feet by three feet and peer onto sunny grass
than windows
that are five inches by three inches
and curvy and most likely blown to look like
a wolf dancing in a grass skirt.
Ah, fuck it. Just fuck it.
There are so many things
I don’t care at all about
and stuff is one
and eating is another and doing
what society says I should do
is one more.
I just don’t care.
There’s too much shit
to give a shit about
most of it. Fuck most of it.
I don’t give two fucks
and that feels how?
It feels great. So great.

image: Raegan Bird