WHEN YOU WANT TO SCREAM, BUT YOUR DORM HAS NO BATHTUBS, SO YOU GO TO THE SWIMMING POOL, BUT EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU, SO YOU GO TO THE RAILROAD TRACKS AND WAIT FOR A TRAIN, BUT YOU’RE IN NORTH PHILADELPHIA AND 3 PEOPLE ARE WALKING TOWARDS YOU AND YOU’RE PROBABLY GOING TO GET STABBED

RITAPA NEOGI

Just so you know,
you’re still listed on my Snapchat, like a stupid green button
that won’t disappear.

The world has told me I need to sit down
and say Seattle’s too far for hitchhiking.

They laugh like it’s funny, like it’s funny that I miss fresh air
scurrying crawfish beneath moss-covered rocks,
looking for glassy-eyed lizards

underwater.
I guess the real joke is that nobody told me
college was an option.

The reason I came,
that’s gotten old. Like most people. Like most people,
it’s moved on,

but nobody said that wouldn’t be OK.

Underwater here, under a city,
I’m sinking boat by boat. My sail’s facing the smelly blue sky,
something so alluring, between trash, college students
and a giant mass of air pollution.

I haven’t thought about what it’s like
on the East Coast;

where I come from, we’re not sick of the weather,
but it’s cold, and rainy,

and quite obvious that winter never ends.
You’re always freezing for something.

So it’s OK if you don’t want me at your house show,
I’m playing bass tonight, tomorrow, next week,
next month,

and in a couple years,
don’t cry

you’ll be hosting my band anyway.

RITAPA NEOGI was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Her work has been previously published in Germ Magazine, Persephone’s Daughters and Wildness Journal. In her free time, Ritapa enjoys playing guitar, making art and wandering Philadelphia, where she currently resides.

Bio photo credit: Richik Neogi