Another acceptance from a magazine wanting poems long since discarded from my manuscript. What does this mean? Do I have bad taste?
Maybe you’ll see the sunlight again, little poems left for dead. I’m sorry I kept you in the trunk, in the heat, in the dark, in the dust. It’s just you didn’t fit into my big important ideas. I am learning my big important ideas are not so important, not so big, not so ideas.
I am learning to love the small ones.
Maybe there can be mistakes in my poems, lines that don’t match up perfectly, narratives that don’t tie together. I can be imperfect. I can be messy. I can be wild.
I was not taught this, you see. I was pressed down like coal makes a diamond. I was never asked, do you want to be a diamond?
Do I want to be a diamond, shiny and hard?
I think I would rather be warm.
The owner of the coffee shop introduces himself. I say my favorite ice cream is red bean (they are thinking of going into the ice cream business, he and his lover). I am wrong. It is rose petal. Ali, Ali, Ali, he repeats to himself all morning to remember, wiping down the espresso machines, cutting cake. He says: oxen free.