Friday 22 October 2021

Sometimes I Stay Quiet, So I Don't Launch An Attack

by Juliet Cook

I'll never reach a wider audience.
It grows increasingly narrow
and divided into pieces
that want to delete each other.
I've never been able to delete
anything fast, especially not another human being.

Even if I dislike or disagree, I have a hard time
thinking I can end something by quickly hitting a button,
tossing them into an online pile of trash.
Maybe I give too many multiple choice chances
to rancid meat or maybe I don't give enough.

Maybe I am too messed up and broken
and divided into conflicted fragments,
but at least I don't make fun of other people's faces
and brains. At least my heart hasn't shrunk yet.
At least I don't think so, but what do I know?

I think I hear something hissing,
then buzzing inside one of my ears
then flying out of a shrunken corsage
that turned itself into a nest of angry paper wasps
who weren't invited to the popular dance.
Tiny swans bang their heads and jump over the edge.

* * * * *

Juliet Cook's poetry has appeared in lots of print and online publications. She is the writer of quite a few poetry chapbooks, recently including Another Set of Ripped-Out Bloody Pigtails (The Poet's Haven, 2019), The Rabbits with Red Eyes (Ethel Zine & Micro-Press, 2020) and Histrionics Inside my Interior City (part of Ghost City Press's 2020 Summer Micro-Chapbook Series). Her most recent full-length poetry book, Malformed Confetti, was published by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2018. She is brimming with black, grey, silver, purple, and dark red explosions. You can find out more at

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