"The Life You Want" first appeared in The Ledge (Winter-Spring Issue, 2003-2004).

The Life You Want


Everywhere you look you see it

thriving:  runs by most mornings in Spandex; rests 

in a hammock sipping tea


each afternoon.  The songs you adore rush

mellifluous from someone elseís mouth. 

A Humvee, a log cabin in Montana, a modelís bodyó


a life collaged from chic magazines

tattered and taped to your refrigerator. 

Yet, your sorrows continue to grow faster


than your garden.  Self-help books explain 

how flowers understand serenity better, so you resent

their beauty, their quiet knowledge.  Anxiety


a dog that always needs walking.  Envy a hive

in your head.  You repeat, again, the angelic

affirmations.  Then forget it all


standing in line at Wal-Mart, wanting to kill

the clerk because sheís slow, hating

the guy in front of you for buying so much stuff, pissed


because they havenít discovered a way

to squeeze enlightenment into your shampoo; because you

canít order it off a drive-thru menu, get it


SuperSized.  Youíve seen the life you want

pulling fruit from its orchard, losing weight

and making friends, humming sweetly


on the other side of the hedgeógiving freely

what you canít understand.  How?  and Why not me?

rotting like bruised apples inside your head. 



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