Susannah Sharpless | Poem

Leaving New York Again

In New York you have to wait for everything

I am on a plane

I want to take a picture of the city twinkling below me as I lift off from it

There also is a river

The sky is full of planes

You have to wait to get into the silver vessel which is only one of many silver vessels people have been waiting for and then it has to wait for its turn to ascend into the seamless sky

Really it is beautiful

It would look bad in the picture because the phone can’t move as the eye does tracing the world which expands as the plane leans into it

The eye drawn outwards and forward by the plane’s going there

The plane’s going there because people bought the tickets on the flight the airline had provided

The airline knew that people would buy these tickets and then the people bought them, mostly using their computers but perhaps over the phone, because they wanted to be somewhere else

In Minneapolis a man who did not want to identify as my lover had fucked me and said “you were really wet”

The next day I got a yeast infection

I hope I have succeeded in making my not-lover jealous by posting pictures of the handsome friend I would like to marry on my Snapchat

I don’t think he will marry me or has ever even considered it

This weekend for the first time I saw his flaws for what they were: embarrassments, failures

For the first time I thought he could be better in ways that I could name

Still I leaned my body into him on the subway and let our feet touch and hands brush and walked with my shoulders touching him and had an urge so deep I almost didn’t notice it to burrow into his chest

I watched the outline of his bicep in his white t-shirt very closely

He threw a party for me in his apartment and let me use his hairbrush

First he took his girlfriend’s long brown hair out of it

I brushed my hair and it became a soft and shining blonde as he sat on his bed and watched me

Of the many things I am amazed by about other women the most astonishing of all is women who don’t want children, ever, at all

It is because I love my mother very much

It is because my parents both raised me with love and attention

It means I would sacrifice many varieties of artistic suffering for stable happiness and for a precious child I would alter my life to protect and cherish

Even if it meant marrying someone mediocre but kind

Dim but good

I am sure that my blonde hair is beautiful but the beauty of my other physical attributes I am much less sure of

I am 24 years old

To be alive at all is unbelievable, a word people use only after long drawn out periods of grayness and deep wavelessness during which they believed nothing

It is only this belief, that nothing exists, which is credible

Everything else is incredible. I can’t believe it.

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Susannah Sharpless grew up in Indiana and currently lives in Minneapolis. Her writing can be found in The Collapsar and Mask Magazine.

2017-11-29T23:30:46+00:00 November 29th, 2017|