Dear acquaintance:
We be friendly as fuck lately
We be friendly as fuck in these streets
& it makes me want to melt the wax of your permanent smile
We are a plagiarized routine
Expertly timed choreography
Hihowareyou & okay written into the draft of us
We are busy
T-ticking, t-ticking, t-ticking, like the alarm clocks that set us
Like explode, like aftermath, like mushroom cloud above wasted body, like burnout
We are a million different outputs, t-tabulate them
Enter institution as self, exit as white sheet, black text outlining accomplishments
Brand new job titles stamped at the top
In parentheses: our success, written in dollar signs
We’re okay
Who thought it’d be a good idea to invent one word that means “everything is fine”?
An easy out
We’re okay like my mental health is a thing that can be rewritten, like a press release
Like cameras are going off & I am miming unconcerned like clockwork
Like my mind isn’t a stuttering dazzle of Bass background noise
Plus study playlist
Plus last night’s disagreement
Plus rooommate’s boyfriend
Plus the creak of this chair
I’ve been tired as fuck lately
I’ve been stressed as fuck
& even my diary doesn’t know it
All I speak is pleasantry
All I do is stay awake
& think about the insides of citrus fruit
About the insides of citrus fruit against a juicer
I know that feeling
Gutted, pulped, cored
Like vomit exploding against floor tiles
Like the moment before the stage
Like the kind of look received on street corners that makes you feel like a thing that can be peeled
It’s the feeling I get when I think about the future
I think about the future every day
I think about the future every second
I think about the future & I don’t even know that word
I wish it still meant spaceships
& computers
Wish we could rewind until before the internet
& there weren’t so much of everything
& I could just not know
Could just
I wish next summer could remain TBD
Destination unknown
That New York boroughs & southeast Asian islands could remain undiscovered
That African languages could continue dying, no Yalie to save them
I build castles in the air in the meantime
I am the last one building castles
Looking at the tendrils of cloud between my fingers & asking,
Is there life after this?
Or will I just become an island?
An unsung island
Exotic
People will ooh & ahh, but no one else will choose the path I took
They’ll say, “Oh, her? She was a creative type”
I’m the type that sees those parentheses as a picture frame
That sees skylines & wilderness between them
That sees parents between them, disappointed parents
That sees goals between them
Like soccer
Why the fuck not?
How about a game, at midnight, like there’s no future to think about
At least not in the usual sense
Not “post-Yale” like “post-operation,” as if we’re losing something
But the future like, we’re winning everything
The future like, the world is our egg yolk
Like this place has cracked the world open & offered it to us on a plate
We can start companies or revolutions or relationships
We can do whatever the fuck we want
When people ask what we’re doing next year, let’s not just name a job
Let’s say, “Something dope”