A Poem Loved By Someone Else

For Emma, who is always close even though she is very far away. Because sometimes you get hit by a car and life gets put into perspective. Like the fact that life doesn’t always think of you.

“It is all loneliness, the way you live.
You get up and make the bed like you are trying
to prove a point. You make coffee that is
never
quite right and never finish it. This is the third day
you’ve worn this shirt. Eventually, you will paint
your nails again, wash the grease from your hair.
Once you have someone besides your own reflection
to impress.

You go to parties where you know
you will only stay an hour. Lean quietly against the wall,
watching people with enviably easy laughter.
Your smile is a cracked boat in a flooded river. Close,
but still useless. You do not talk to strangers, just sit there
like a begging dog beside the dinner table,
with eyes that say “Please, come, be my friend.
I am a coward, but I’m hungry.”

— Clementine von Radics, “But Lately”

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