A Petty Gift
This is the elephant in the room that is Me,
Crocodile tears and
bird wings and all.
I am the paradoxical queen of the zoo,
able to fly and cry and occupy
I learnt hypocrisy from my mother.
She also taught me how to apologize.
So I am sorry not to be sorry for always saying sorry
I am sorry that I am two, three, four things at once,
I know it is confusing
for people who have never left behind a puddle of
Shit and Tears and Feathers.
But for all my pretty peer reptiles,
with hollow bones and long memories
that apologize too much
and change emotions with more
haste than Lady Macbeth launders her linens–
for the girls and boys who swallow terrariums
just to get “eating dirt” off the bucket list–
for the fragile soldiers that never regained appetites
after too many door-holds and not enough hugs–
I give you this:
A run-on sentence.
I have a lot of those these days. So it is kind of a petty gift.
But I did put some thought into it.
I’ve mourned you so long that dinner got cold
waiting on the table.
Let’s throw out the leftovers, they’ll just sit in the fridge anyway,
With the exception of the rare square meal I’ve been starving for years.
I am trying to learn to parent myself but
it just gets so hard with all this missing in the way,
and I haven’t quite figured out how to
push it back or keep it down.
I learned how to make eggs in a basket.
So that’s good.
I “cooked” it the other morning,
I watched the yolks scream protein as I stood over the pan,
wearing your old cashmere sweater.
I clean my house in the sweater,
It makes me feel a little better every time such an expensive article of clothing
acquires new stains-
but only on your tab, not mind.
When I used to borrow it, you told me never to leave it balled up on the floor.
Funny, I think I told you the same.
II. Doggy Bags
Seeing pictures of you now doesn’t make me sad, just confused,
the long wait to be seated,
the entre (was fantastic),
the service (was terrible).
It took forever for the “check, please”, and now I can’t even remember
what I ate.
For months after I saw you last
I waited for delivery, money by the door.
My order must’ve gotten cold,
must’ve gone rotten.
I’m so hungry, I’ve got to learn how to cook for myself,
there’s so much bravery in turning on a burner after being burned.
I may go to bed on an empty stomach but
when I wake up
at least I know I can make myself eggs for breakfast.
Hardboiled in a soft sweater.
Kathi Kaity is a performance artist in Chicago, IL. She is currently trying to re-parent herself. Her interests include outer space, insects, and perfumes. She has worked with iO Chicago and the Neofuturists, and her original web series can be found here. When she grows up, she never wants to grow up.
Allison Goldin is an artist living in California. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles.