I walk to work under the heavy dough
of the crescent-roll moon,
passing white lights of a car winking.
There are some things that you know
not to do at this age and some things
you realize, still, no one has told you.
I am rejecting the bills brimming green
in front of me while kissing and cowering
at their roots with this red scrawl of tongue.
It’s a matter of time before everyone knows
me as I know myself and my dress-up
is not convincing; the glittering sheen peeling
clean from plastic tiara. I sit by my porcelain throne
throwing up every batter-sticky memory of a moment
where I thought I was doing okay.
When we swallow our comforts,
what is the Heimlich but a love language?
There is needing a room of your own
and then there is needing to pay for it.
If I wrote two poems every day and got paid
fifteen dollars for each, I’d have time
to write two poems every day.
You say you’ve seen this pattern before
and I reply It’s fine, that I don’t mind.
I’m not an animal of routine,
I’m an animal of staying alive.
“collective memory” is a poem I wrote in 2019. It was published in local nomad, which you can read online.