A Poem by Sarah Bridgins

I Shouldn’t Be Alive

At the end I became obsessed with disasters:
specials on Katrina, articles
about parents who left their kids in cars,
then came back hours later to find
their small bodies baked, insides a stew.
“How can you watch this? It’s harrowing,”
my boyfriend asked, as I sat through a marathon
of a show about defying death.
This from the man whose favorite film
was by Rob Zombie,
and featured a psychopath wearing
another man’s face as a mask,
this from the man I left for you.

That’s a lie.
I left him for your cat, your MOMA
membership, the basil you grew in your backyard.
I left him for the way you chased me
down the street after we kissed,
when I fled the party like a princess
who had to get home before midnight
or she would turn into a slut.
For the Mayakovsky quote you sent at 2am
What will it be? Love or no-love?
You tell me.

I think back to all those hours of TV,
(how can you watch this?)
and pretend we have a chance,
remembering that no matter
how hopeless things seemed
for the people suffering for their
bad decisions, misread maps
there was always something
to save them in the end.
But life isn’t a Meg Ryan movie,
women don’t get rewarded for leaving
men they love for ones they’ve barely met.
When I try to see our future
all I can think of are the events
that come before the helicopters, rescue boats
how things always get worse
before they get worse.

A couple is stranded in the ocean
twenty miles out, skin cells swollen, bursting
like roe, bodies thrashed by jellyfish.
They swim for hours, hot muscles straining,
until the shore is finally in sight.
But their relief fades fast as they realize,
they’re trailing blood, attracting sharks,
and the island in the distance
is made of sheer rocks, which the waves
will crush them against.


Sarah Bridgins Sarah Bridgins

Sarah Bridgins lives in Brooklyn and works in publishing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Monkeybicycle, Bone Bouquet, Pear Noir!, and the La Patasola Anthology of Female Writers, among others. She occasionally likes wearing wigs.

This entry was posted in Poetry Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • Find Us on Facebook
  • Follow Us on Twitter
  • Follow us on Pinterest
  • Watch Us on YouTube
  • Follow us on Tumblr