“Go for Gin” by Audrey Gradzewicz

09 October 2020 on Poetry  

for Lauren B. /Lawrin B.

At dusk, when regal moths kill themselves ignobly
on the bare yellow bulb of your porchlight,

I name futures like racehorses. Alphabet Soup
is the future in which I am a writer; Sham

is the future in which anything comes of my writing.
Whirlaway and Unbridled are the dizzy futures

in which, finally, I submit to electroshock, in which I blaze
like the hungover sun, in which I grow as giant

as my father’s violence, in which I still secretly
spill my blood for him, in which I imagine

that by my own stripes, I am healed, in which
I call myself Super Saver. Middleground

is the name I give to my safe, impossible
futures; Regret is the name I give to likely futures

in which I’m still shouting I’ll Have Another!
in dank bars, in which I continue to eat nothing

but Wintergreen. In all of my futures, I want
to be Bold or Affirmed or Faultless, but Assault

keeps pressing against me so that it is all
I can do to Justify my own breathing. Once,

I named the future in which I am a mother
American Pharoah, filled it with hide-and-seek

and scraped knees and gentle resentments,
but when I read my moon-eyed children

their own story, I couldn’t see how all the words,
like my own body, were misspelled. Real Quiet

is the future in which I wake to this same loneliness.
Vagrant, the life in which I want to be Bounding Home.

***

Audrey Gradzewicz was born in Buffalo, New York. Her poems have
been published in Southern Indiana Review, Smartish Pace, Mid-
American Review, Muzzle, The Puritan, Ninth Letter, and Passages
North.

Photo: "Art District Panorama" from the series An Unlikely View of San Francisco by William C. Crawford. Crawford is a photographer based in a North Carolina. He invented Forensic Foraging, a throwback, minimalist approach for modern digital photographers. His new book, Crawdaddy Chases the Money Shot, is available on Amazon. You can find more of his work at his website.

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