A Rejection and Other Saturday Thoughts

I finally got rejected by the New Yorker! Why “finally”? So I can stop wondering about it. I was involved with the translation of a (very dry) philosophy book, in which the philosopher mentioned that there’s a sense of relief when a dropped glass shatters, because you’re no longer worried about catching it. Here’s a poem about a different sort of ending.

Please, Mom

Carry me
Before I am born
Then when I'm too tired to walk
Metaphorically, when I'm too ignorant
To forge through life


Bury me
Because I know you'll do a good job
And you give the best eulogies
And I could never face your corpse
Without asking it for advice


I was thinking, months ago, about missed chances – if you take this too-short-to-bother-submitting poem as evidence. I’ve tried, multiple times, to add onto it, to make it longer, better, more, but it says what it needs to. And I wouldn’t want it to become one more call I never picked up.


 Everyone knows
 Hell smells like overripe cantaloupes
 Like just-missed chances 
 That last hug you didn’t give a friend
 The letter you forgot to send