Rehearsal

1 February 2018

new year’s eve & burning like icarus. a below-ground pool is too close to the sun.
the youngest kids shout around dining tables in the cul-de-sac. you see them
from the balcony. sunset has set your suburb on fire, & the next one.

gone downstairs again, you drip poolwater where the table should be,
on wax-white tiles. your family will be moving soon, taking you far. & as the light fades,
the heat in your skin is rising. reflecting something unseen, you feel like the moon.

you’re so antisocial. you’re alone in the house. you could shut the blind & block
the night. you could stare at a starry ceiling—the afterimage of the day in your eyes,
projected like glow-in-the-dark replays of every excruciating misstep.

futile as penelope, weaving a shroud every night & unmaking it. more so, as it’s your own
shroud. you have been faithfully rehearsing all the reasons why you deserve unhappiness.
& later, sitting on the terracotta lip, above the pool filter, sculling your shins

in the water, you’re just a becalmed boat. you should block your ears with wax. thinking is
trap. remembrance is just a siren song of making yourself a myth. but underwater should
count as trying something new. a year shouldn’t feel like a rehearsal for the next one.

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