Three Poems by D.W. Lichtenberg

TESS’ ROOM

I had a dream I was in Tess’ room. She had even more sticky notes on her walls than I do.

I am reading one of them. It says, That was one of those moments where you admitted even though you don’t want to admit that you like me a lot.

I am in a cab now. I am drunk and tired. The cab driver keeps falling asleep at the wheel, at each red light we come across. He keeps falling asleep at the wheel and he is more drunk and more tired than I am. And each time we are stopped at a light, he jumps awake at the sound of a horn, from the car behind us, and he looks around and says, Does anyone in this city have a brain? This happens four times before we reach my small apartment. Each time he says this, he sounds angrier.

After each time he says this, I am wanting to say, It wasn’t good enough. Do it again.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

WE ARE PEEING IN THE DARK

We are peeing in the dark. We are tapping our feet, counting the number of taps before we finish peeing in the dark. We are thinking about how surprised we are that we don’t still listen to the music we thought we’d always listen to. We are surprised at how many taps before we are done peeing in the dark. Later we are replacing a light bulb in the bathroom together in the dark. We are one of us holding a flashlight, the other one sitting on shoulders propelled to the ceiling, and we are thinking about a book we once read with too many characters, too much freedom, too many scenes of driving in cars going nowhere, often thinking about how to become more focused, how to hide inside a book without becoming lost inside a book.

We are refusing to use air conditioning so that we might walk around in our underwear as the ocean levels rise. We are thinking we came here to be alone, but there are so many things in our way.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

WE WERE THE KIDS WITH SNOT RUNNING DOWN OUR LIPS

And so what if we are a little less than perfect, we were the kids with snot running down our lips.

We are thinking that an ending is necessary to make a whole but we are forgetting so many things so many other things. Down the line an apology is an apology but we are so stubborn, eating Honey Nut Cheerios at our age, leaving the milk in the bowl, made with real honey, two percent milk, glasses of orange juice from concentrate, complaining, complaining about how we can almost taste the powder of oranges in our orange juice from concentrate. Grow up, they tell us, accept our apologies, they tell us, but we are thinking about ways in which we can buy lots of the same things over and over again, except make slight variations on those things, because what we’ve got is good enough and every day we wake up in a sweat, and we are remembering birthday presents received from our parents, thinking, How can they not know us, where did we go wrong, when did we lose touch, why would we ever want a novel written by Phillip Roth?

We are waking up and we are sweating and we are not hung over at all and we are thinking, Surely this must be living.

We are trying hard not to please anyone all the time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

DW Lichtenberg DW Lichtenberg

D.W. Lichtenberg (Managing Editor) is the author of The Ancient Book of Hip. He lives in San Francisco where he edits corporate video by day and La Petite Zine by night. He hopes to one day write the Great American Bumper Sticker.

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