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every day is a cliché


every day is a cliché

the things you do to keep hope alive
to keep yourself from falling
to keep her satisfied.
the things you do are worse
than you expected
and far more dull.

every newborn morning
comes your chance
to make a run for it until
the clock beats its ringing hammer
against the drum inside your ear
singing: “No more dreams,
bring no more dreams.”
and every morning
you wake up
and fall for it.

the floor devours your feet
the mirror’s horrified
to see you. the toothbrush
shrinks away in terror from your teeth.
your daily routine is blinding
you to what you have become.

once you were a denizen
of imaginary continents.
once you sang an aria
in a papier mache dress. once
you were a pirate. a bareback
ballerina. you were anything
and everything
all the time and all at once.
you had impeccable timing
for making believe.

but once upon a time runs out
and then
a paler version
takes your place
fingers your pulse
changes the dress code
talks you safely away
from the ledge and further
flights of fancy.

Her logic is immaculate:
“You need a marketable skill.”
“Get a degree. And a real job.”
“Poetry doesn’t pay the bills.”
“After the man comes the house. And the dog.”

and it might be wrong
but it soon feels right
and this is how
these things become
the things you do
to keep yourself
from falling…

-Lo, who wonders if dreams are stunted by safety nets.

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