people continue disappearing
into pinholes and the anchor
on tv is vomiting tragedy
after tragedy into our living
rooms. show us war, show us a girl
below a tangerine toque with cherry
cheeks who walked into a park
and never walked out. twisted
light shoots glares at our tv screen
through the blinds, so we turn it off.
there are people wading knee-high
through tragedies without off switches.
I am over-drinking on weekdays
in a ripped dress, sway left right on
tottering heels. how sweet to live
with only minor blemishes of grief
on a life already 24 years old. I’m sure,
like that earthquake, I’m due any day
for something to ache
inside me hard, rock that safe feeling
right out. one day I’ll look back
at how I stewed careless in foamy
baths, steam cherrying my cheeks,
letting my toes age
to the tread of junkyard tires,
how I’d rinse off problems so small,
they would drain with the water.
Published online July 16 2019.
Halle Gulbrandsen is pilot and writer living in British Columbia. Her work has previously been published in The Antigonish Review, filling Station and The Garden Statuary.