One small thing undone,
Like a loosened tooth, or
A boulder unlodged in a river
Keeps us further apart.
I am turning into you.
I am cracking glass with the fracture of a hair,
Fracturing hairs with cracked glass,
Reminding myself that tomorrow
Isn’t today and today
You could fit this distance with a thousand echoing ‘whys’
And still, we’d be distracted by the wind.
Let me be so weightless
To blow over.
One small undone thing:
The river chokes on
The boulder, and I
Am no longer
WE BUILT AN EMPIRE
We built an empire out of toothpicks,
Crumpled receipts, the easiness of our mother’s strategies
Lost at the bottom of her purse,
And our father’s thoughtful prayers strung together
With dental floss because that’s all he could afford.
In these troubled times, everything tastes like the plastic nature of mint.
We told ourselves we would do better,
We would build empires, buy books, write poetry,
Know when to look both ways,
Save ourselves from repeating the mistakes
Made before us, made for us.
We built an empire out of newspapers we didn’t read, manifested
Paper trail of Destiny and her younger cousin, Process. We built
An ink smudged empire out of references,
Out of rules and the quiet despair of choice. The
Breathlessness of summoning our ancestors
And disregarding them all together. We built an empire
Out of ink, out of ceremony,
Out of speeches and out of ritual, the habit of putting things
Together, fitting pieces where they do and do not belong,
Out of all the words we used for love
And the collective silence between them.
We built ourselves an empire just to watch it burn
So that we can stagger through the ashy darkness,
Digging for the remnants of framework,
And try again tomorrow when the weather clears.
Jessica Fischoff is the Editor of PANK.