i just want to be my imperfect self
I just want to be the imperfect daughter, the one who borrowed thousands of dollars and never returned the money. The one who spent her savings on gambling and psychics, the one who said nasty things about her parents on social media. I just want to be the imperfect girlfriend, the one who contemplated upgrading to another man and ignored her boyfriend when he wasn’t making her feel special. The one who ordered him about and made him feel like he couldn’t get anything right. I just want to be the imperfect friend, the one who only called when she wanted a favor. The one who dominated the conversation and got bored when it veered to something else. I want to double-cross and gossip, backstab, blame, compete. I just want to be the imperfect citizen, the one who had the right to remain silent, and did so. The one who refused to implicate herself, the one who wouldn’t follow the policy and do things “by the book” if it would further suffering. to those who “try”
do not try.
do not get distracted. do not look at the flowers on the path, the tulips that ruminate to themselves. do not get sick from the blood swallow. get into it, whether it’s devoid does not belong to your cause. rugged individual you are. do not stop, signs outlined in white are optional. do not get handcuffed by a cop, a feeling, a caress. even a breeze sparks bereavement. even an anvil will tickle. just ask the coyote, just ask my mother, just ask yourself, and just move on to something else. we are something else we are nothing. we are in this together this is a test this is a good test life is a test life is a testament to your goodness. for goodness sake, push off with the toe, don’t mosey, for goodness sake, you are watching your life sashay away.
A robotic scan of Cans. Jar of pickles. Box of Wheaties. The Eye sees dinner, but A musical ear hears Music. Someone with Perfect pitch might be Able to identify the sound. Key of “A.” Doesn’t this Strike you as strange? To be asked how your Day was? And is…going? Little is it known, that This mandate, not only To ask, but to answer, is A type of force, subtle Abuse. Wake up people! Use self-checkout when At all possible. The key Of “A-buse” will not be Lost on you.
Melissa Houghton received her MFA in poetry in 2008 from Oregon State University and spent the last 13 years in some form of educator role, including a teaching position in Korea through a Fulbright Grant. Made in Korea. Raised in South Dakota. Living in Portugal. Traveling the world. These poems also appear in the April issue of The BeZine, Celebrating interNational Poetry Month. Visit her website.