“Are Fish Better Than Planes?” © John Engstrom


superfluous sad boy philosophy

maybe we’re all self-obsessed
narcissistic – when it comes to our pain.
hiding behind a cover of self-pity
lest we might have to face its true initiator –
the ghastly self-sabotage i see when i look in the mirror.
didn’t mainländer say the world is simply
the rotten corpse of god.
slowly coming apart around us.
a place we are part of and still
notably distant from it.
maybe living inside a carcass has given us
a bitter taste under our tongues.
supposedly the worst thing to say might be exactly what i need.
get used to the smell of spoiled meat like the rest of us.
get and up and do the dishes
you self-absorbed idiot.  
i tried to kill myself in march by the way

i always imagine catching up with you.
form the words in my head that i don’t say to you.
i tried to kill myself in march by the way
but you don’t know that.
– you don’t need to.
(i think about it a lot. telling you.)
you might ask. what was it like?
waiting to die like sitting in a plane while it’s crashing down.
and you are so calm because there is nothing you can do anyway.
the body so heavy. slowly sinking into what is under me
wishing i could say that earth has taken me with it.
and then suddenly.
the plane is not crashing anymore.
and you’re going to work tomorrow. and nobody


J.M. Aveles (they/them) is a mixed-race writer and poet based in south-west Germany.

John Engstrom is a Boston-based artist-author-poet. A retired journalist-museum worker, he serves as Arts critic for the Fenway News. His collages and poems appear on Facebook and Divergents Magazine.