“Don’t Try” – Inscribed on Charles Bukowski’s headstone
I mostly try to friend poet laureates
on Instagram, pick out pretty journals small
enough to fit in the pockets of my scrubs;
Just one more minute for that ginger ale,
I finally remembered the right word for ‘sad’
It was lost like a key in the cushion of
a chair, lost like a body in the salt of the sea….
I mostly read Walt Whitman aloud to my friends
in my best funny voices. When it’s my birthday,
I ask for a trip to his tomb but instead
they take me to Chili’s and buy me four margaritas,
I call all my ex-boyfriends and vomit up fried mozzarella
in the back of an Uber while reciting ‘Song of Myself’
and my entire face leaks.
I mostly read bios of the ones
in the magazines and none of them say:
Single mom in her thirties who eats Doritos
and sleeps with a mean chihuahua, who plays four chords
on an old guitar
So I mostly sit in the glow of the porch light
And stare up at nothing and try not
but in frivolous moments
I want so hard that the earth
and nothing comes out but
so I take it.
Sarah Satterlee is a graduate of Rhode Island College. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Amaryllis, and The Jawline Review among others. She lives in Rhode Island with her daughter.