Lost Bottle

Too much of my life I’ve spent complaining to someone or other

about how my past should have been this or that,

it’s a wonder my mind hasn’t fallen off its hinge and started quacking.

I realized this tonight while I was complaining to my therapist

about how I thought poetry should be tempered more these days with

boatloads of consciously directed imagination.

I followed this lecture by explaining how I think organizations

should be restructured with clear vertical pathways to promotion,

so that the majority of employees didn’t feel like they’d been waiting

in horizontal line to horizontal line all their lives.

Kindness, I complained, was to blame for my career, relationship

and mother issues, since it allowed me to be taken advantage of

by leaders and loved ones who practiced indecisive leadership

to deflect responsibility, possibly, I’m not sure that I’m not sure, but even.

I illustrated that the way I blew my marriage

one fateful morning was by simply dipping my toe in the raging river of

emotions stirred up by irreconcilable differences between my ex and I,

where I watched myself get pulled under and made to disappear

by an unstoppable force,

like a house riding the surge of a sudden tsunami into what used

to be an alleyway where cats gathered to be worshipped like gods.

I didn’t feel like much of an adult anymore, but more like a kind of

“message in a bottle” I said.

I went on to share how I often think my poetry

gets less fun for me to write the more distilled I make it,

writing the ambiguity out of it for the sake of being able to

understand myself. As a happy biproduct I get to know myself

and others perhaps a little more biasedly.

Which, may, come to think of it, be why I’m here in therapy,

sitting on this couch, half-listening to a white noise machine

fake ocean waves that reflect the constant disappointment

I’ve been, up until this point, sort of washing up to.

Like a parent who cancels their meeting to discuss a possible promotion,

in order to spend an evening with their child, who, for what seems like forever,

has been begging them for a little more me time,

I know I can always float an ask to bring home the pet snake of the heart

nobody wants, and nobody will say no to that. But that pretty much

means almost nobody but me will care to be around that snake either.