Eggnog in April: April 2015 PAD Chapbook Challenge, Day 8

Do you dare drink the expired eggnog?
I dare you to enjoy sparkle nightmare
holiday visions of treats gone by,
gone bad. I dare you to embrace
listeria, E.coli, any of the other
suberbads that will trouble your
sleep, make you regret that you
ever heard of baby Jesus or whatever
pagan tradition brought us eggnog
in the first place. Eggnog in April
is well ripened and fizzy — at least
that’s what I’m guessing. The darer
need not take the dare. I didn’t
make that up. The usual rules
apply here, the ones you learned
at the back of the school bus or
in dark corners of the playground
where such deals are made. This
expired eggnog will take you back
to those halcyon days of youth,
when dares were all that mattered
and consequences were nothing.
That’s right. Let it take you
on that journey, divide you
from everything but this.


Happy Now

Happy now, with a tree opening up,
releasing its scent of the woods,
though this is freighted with guilt —
a whole life created and wasted,
just for a few weeks of our delight.

Happy now, having snipped an entire tub of
Walgreens brand cherry and lime jelly bells
to make cookies that I vaguely recall, though
it’s possible that if I could call my mom,
she’d say, Oh, those. I made them once.
They’re a lot of work, and not very good.

Happy now, listening to the first mega-dose
of Christmas music on the radio, though
there’s a bit too much vibrato for my taste,
a little too much autotune and grandstanding,
and I can already anticipate the fatigue
from hearing that song — again?

Happy now, with my first cup of eggnog,
though I bought the wrong brand. It lacks
real nutmeg and fake rum, and only hits
the easy notes: fatty and sweet.

Happy now. Happy enough.
I think so.


Dear Sir or Madam:

I would like to complain to you about so many things,
like the sunlight that still butters the edges of leaves,
some of which are still green. It’s November; if
everything is going to die, I would rather it be soon.
For weeks, I’ve braced myself for it, and yet, I still
see a flower here and there, hanging in, and its
unwinnable fight hurts me more than if it would
just die already, so I could mourn a little, move on,
make myself ready for ho ho ho’s and the exchange
of good cheer. It takes me a while to make myself
feel that, you know, though eventually I do, at least
a little, even in the worst of years. I am not unmoved
by public sentiment, no matter how frothed it is by
advertisers, manufacturers of things. I like things
as much as the next person, maybe more, and I can’t
lie: I especially like things that are not necessary, ones
that are apple-heavy in my palm and make their own
starlight. I would like the world to turn a little, all of us
to suffer now in darkness and cold, because winter
can’t end before it begins. This anticipation, it’s like
waiting for a blood test, sitting there in an awful room
with a TV you can’t turn off (there’s a handwritten
card that says so, in Sharpie, no less—it’s permanent,
you know), and you can’t imagine that your name will
ever be called, the test ever be done, your blood
remaking itself before you even get up to go home.
You can’t imagine home, not when all of you is
wrapped up in dread, suspended animation.
It’s like that, dear sir or madam.
That’s just what it’s like.


For NaBloPoMo, Open Link Night at dVerse Poets, and PAD Challenge, Day 13 (prompt: write a letter poem).