Poem in which a dog doesn’t know why to stay quiet

This is what I want
soft clothes to replace the dirt at 6 p.m.
flowers to ingest even though you shouldn’t
the perfect degree to enjoy standing on grass

This is what I want
pasta with a side of potatoes on top of rice
inside of a bread bowl
white sauce not on the side

This is what I want
a dog that is loud because his voice works and does it well
a dog that doesn’t differentiate bad from evil
a cat that doesn’t care when you’ve been gone for two weeks
This is what I want

a girl to not return my gaze
a boy to not understand what it means to be a boy
a man who does
a woman who is very loud
because good for her
This is what I want

In the short amount of time between going underground for the train
and rising above ground for after the train

The sun has set to pink purple
The sky in surprise colors
You feel like a cool person with arms that seem foreign to you

and safe for you
and strong for you
and how honest of you
if you’re being honest

and Ben doesn’t mind that it’s been four awful months since you last emailed him

probably

and a ladybug that’s stuck inside with you is also just trying to fall in love

probably

and the G train that hasn’t arrived — well, don’t worry, it’s coming

This is what we want
I put my hat on in the morning
I leave a hat behind for you

This is what I want when I am not alone

okay

It’s what I want when I am alone

probably

This is what I want

Fly into me like a strong and bad smelling wind in the morning
Fly into me like a bug that wants to flatten itself to death against the ceiling
Fly into me without an intention or even the physical possibility of leaving

We can live in a moderately temperatured area for one or two years
then we can switch to a slightly worse one after that

Sometimes your body tells another part of your body to lie to you
Sometimes we don’t listen

Michael says he wants to see us again

okay

Meggie says come back
I reply come back home

This is what I want

Sarah Jean Alexander

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