Your Ish IRL

You dressed up as a detective when you were 5 years old,
fierce and feminine, feeling fresh as a damn daisy. Oh, shit!
Pls try again tomorrow. It was that easy to fail, after that
spiral of one-ply toilet paper. Fuuuck it. We were all
rooting for you. Vodka, dry shampoo, and Ariana Grande:
How much time do you need? You overslept and have
two minutes. Dawg, IDK how it ends. I just remember
the anxiety of a messy bun, two girls in similar outfits,
your parents’ garage. You can’t remember the last time
you washed your hair. That’s a personality trait, Sister.

The last day of March means that this is my last poem written from phrases pulled (in order) from the March 2020 issue of Cosmopolitan. It took some time to settle into this magazine, but it ended up being one of my two favorites—the other one being the one I started with, the December 2019 issue of Good Housekeeping. Talk about opposites!


I Sleep with a Mask

Hey! Keep it simple.
It’s 100% awesome,
the new fragrance

of the misty jungle.
I get paid to travel to
Taco Bell, my friend.

I can’t help but notice
the ferris wheel in your
bed, a song in a journal.

I’ve got my glasses on,
for once, half-watching
tonight’s coverage of

however you sleep,
your secrets, a wall,
even your couch.


What Happened?

On Instagram, nobody cared,
especially those who suspect they can
gush blood for weeks, like a second job.

All I was told was that I was just a woman
who couldn’t manage stories like hers.
A ripple effect: Imagine things getting better.

She says it’s getting worse with the shirtless
bachelor in paradise—weird and awkward,
this gorgeous girl with matching hair,

a special dress on the back of a door.
Revolution takes time, but she hasn’t
saved up enough for fresh flowers.


Show ’Em Just How Easy It Is

Fire them for becoming nonstop struggle
over the cheese. As it turns out, I’d been
a little terrible pony, able to stretch every
mood with a new dude in Santa Barbara.
So trashy—a surfer. Don’t follow your bad
tale in a back room at the tattoo parlor,
exposing a tame city. Over the years, I got
to see a bleak situation getting better.


You’re Worth $$$$

I’ve recently come into some money.
What now? I can afford designer boots,
a luxe bathtub, a jar of Nutella. I like my
snake plant, Hannah. It’s five times

your height. You live on the floor now.
You get a buzz from cute clothes.
You want to try cuddling fish.

I’m a celebrity now, with luck and
big cash flows, glam, hot, high-energy
confetti. I’m throwing it confidently,
lovingly, a little bit for myself.


I Indulged in This

Some lube, a hair band, Tic Tacs.
Pizza. I’m back, bitches: The Flamingo.
No one knows my life, garden gnomes.
You’ll just have to keep playing an original
game of golden leggings. Shit. I’m Baby Yoda.
I’m a walking before/after pic. I’m cool.
You? You’re only cute on Halloween.


Today Is Special

I’m going through emails while prioritizing on the fly,
writing a news story about the trend of sculpting
your vagina—cooler than that creepy Kanye video.
I once lived in a place where people were doing
illegal things. We’ll always treasure the days when
all of us had branded pool parties, that metallic
fanny pack of a Friday night on my couch.


In Her Boss’s Office

Stories like hers ripple throughout Boston,
Atlanta, most urban areas. It’s hard to imagine
the tile of the bathroom floor in autumn,
when it’s getting worse, the excessive hair.
Tammy got a hundred percent mad at this,
sweating in bone-dry air, the cold water
feeling heavy on her body. Her next step
should be going to sleep. I’m not sure much
would surprise her, whatever comes into
dreams of screaming soup dumplings.

It’s difficult to find printed magazines in stores these days, and I thought it would be extra difficult under COVID-19 restrictions. So, when I ventured out to a supermarket today, I was glad to see an April issue of a women’s magazine, any women’s magazine at all. I’m not telling you what it is yet, but I’m glad it’s already here for when I finish March/Cosmopolitan next week.


I Am More Chill

Every day started on a high in the a.m.,
before prom. I thought it wasn’t possible
to look good in Mammoth Lakes, California,
a middle school dance for grown-ups.

It took me so long to convince my mom

that I hated it, a cluster of diamonds in the stars,
a light bulb of an evil eye, a sharp, noisy light,
a lump of clay that led me to the haircut,

a phase of loudly looking down at
a crowded street, over my shoulder,
seeing sugar smeared in blood.

If you haven’t been following, this month, I’ve been writing poems using phrases from the March 2020 issue of Cosmopolitan. As I’ve settled into this magazine, I’ve come to appreciate it more. There’s something visceral and almost “metal” about it.


Obviously, Most People Can’t Change

Move along. Is this seat taken?
He’s buying me a vodka soda, so sorry.
Think about your own socks, your dude’s
penis; rock back and forth slowly.
Make it your mission to date your boss—
I highly recommend it. Things have been
pretty stressful lately. Even serial killers can
give me less angst, instant relief, a clear head,
cheese. A pony to get through the magic.