After a very bad thing happens

it may feel like you will never

call your mother back.

 

The bathroom was quiet and well-lit,

and you hid there.

 

It’s not that anyone was being unkind,

it’s just that it had been hours of talking

without intensity or connection.

 

Newspaper articles

are beginning to discuss

what it means to hide in bathrooms.

 

Hiding because someone insulted you in a faculty meeting

is different than hiding because there’s been too much talk

and too little of everything else.

 

When you wake up,

that’s when the mosquito begins.

 

You might be a holy person.

 

Holy people never feel at home,

so they make trouble for everyone

while looking exhausted.

 

In any case,

I hope you’ll come outside again soon.

 

Mostly you have to stop worshipping the idea

of you being horrible.

 

I like you better than almost anyone,

and the fact that you don’t agree with me that you’re worth something

hurts my feelings.

 

I’ve never had to tell you

why we writeyou always seemed to know it.

But I guess there are other things

you think you know,

and it’s not really up to me to change your mind.

I still tried, though, didn’t I?

A prehistoric woman with swinging breasts,

banging and banging on a coconut.

 

 

 

 

Hannah Gamble
is sending out her second book of poems. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from American Poetry Review, The Believer, Poetry, Court Green, and Rattle. She lives in Chicago, where she is an artist ­in ­residence at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Filed under: Poetry

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