Collective Memory

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.