- Anger Management
If it feels good, don’t say it.Now what am I supposed to do?There’s not enough space on this form.
Hell is other people, so said Sartre—this clot of humans, daybound and tethered,two-faced, watching.
I don’t need to check under the bed for sounds.I’m afraid of nothing but the sheets I pull back.I eat the moon through my window.
I carry a wicker basket of barbed wire.I get everything I want, just at the wrong time:Sniper, lightning, candlepin, lynchpin, safety pin.
And what if I like the pain?Or what if I’m over it?Maybe I’m used to the way
the ground swallows me each time I walk to the bus.There are days when I’ll jiggle the dagger’s hilt.I prefer the jab-jab-jab that reminds me I’m still alive.
Some say there’s meaning in where an archer’s arrow strikes.Where your thoughts are, that’s where you land.A word can mock you in a turtleneck [End Page 166]
I am trying: I pull my hair back to hear things correctly.I pin lips quiet when someone closes the door.I know how to zing clean with a cartoon smile.
I bite my lip till the blood comes. I am the gray walls of your o.ce,your perceived slights. Some people are burning to be read wrong.Some days I’m so hungry I could let you starve. [End Page 167]
Christine DeSimone is the author of How Long the Night Is (Lummox Press). Her poems have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Cream City Review, Zyzzyva, and many other places. She is a fifth-generation California who practices law in San Francisco.