All posts by nadia k grant

rosey

the rose bush out back refuses
to die. strangled in vines, covered in fungus
the branches brittle and dry
i gave it a hand because like everyone else
the bush was barely getting by
sick of the pieces
sick of big ideas
sick of the storms and the nights

and do you know that stupid bush bloomed
a single, light pink rose
a day later it was blown apart but hey
what other life does it know

on sadness

you can leave it by the seaside
while you frolic in the waves
have you ever been thrown
by the ocean in a thunderstorm?
you’re not supposed to do that, but

other times you can rest it on the bar
pick up a long stem of red wine
or a salted tequila shot, urged on by a friend
as long as there’s laughter, it lays
like a wet coaster
like a nightmare dissolving
in the morning sun

each morning you strap it to your back
or slip it into your pocket (if it’s small
enough) and so does everyone else
so sometimes it’s hard to look
because you see theirs too
and sometimes you find
somewhere to leave it
if only for a while
and it’s worth
the wait
but

all of my favorite distractions

there’s no madness like that in a writer
it’s nothing special, just a flavor
not quite like that in the unshowered man rolling
in the park grass shouting Jesus is the savior, he’s coming
for us all (but not distinctly
separate)
it’s different than the hundred hour work week or the plump
lipped, stretched faced surprise
of an aging beauty

the madness of the writer isn’t as open
it’s early mornings and drunken nights
dark eyes lit by a glowing screen, painstakingly
writing and rewriting a terrible, awful,
skill less story that no one will ever
read

the writer might as well try to spin gold
but there’s no cure. do you ever know
if you’re feeding the restlessness
or just lying beside it?

the egg and the security deposit

my brother threw an egg at the wall once
to defuse a tense situation
the shock of it made us all laugh
once we saw each other, mouths gaping

there’s a problem in every day, i’ve found
with our lists and our self expectations
i start ten to six but five out of ten
days i come up short and full of self hatred

oh what’s it matter what’s it matter
i’m still not too sure
half the time i just need the distraction
there’s the egg, the impact and everything
between. but (i think) life is found
in the laughter

if you can read this

you’ve heard the theory that there are endless
parallel universes with endless versions
of ourselves living different lives due to splits
at certain events?

so far i lived in a universe of 28 years
without nuclear war
without my dog falling off the bridge
that one time when he almost might’ve plus 4
car crashes where no one was hurt except
my PT cruiser, may he rust in peace never
to overheat again.

so the theory isn’t quite like that but probably
there’s a version of me living under a woman president
a bit persnickety about this or that, but overall well
and able to sleep at night. if you can read this
then you aren’t there, either

you are not alone
it’s something to repeat when fear takes hold
i fear the actions that fear may drive us to
the stampedes and the ‘save yourselves!’ unless we remember
you are not alone

souls and enzymes

the other night i woke up to find a man
sleeping next to me. horrified, i realized
i was married
and the man was my husband.
then i was even more shocked

i forget
that i’m getting older.
i don’t know what to tell me –
the plan of having your first kid by 30
doesn’t seem like a good idea anymore
you haven’t achieved what you want to achieve
you don’t bake
the letter from Hogwarts isn’t coming and your love life
followed exactly along with each of Adele’s albums
that’s a comfort, actually, since she’s mad
she’s getting older, too.
you married well, at least,
much better than anyone expected
so it’s not all bad but
do better

my mom said she looks in the mirror and can’t
believe how old she is. the inside is still the same,
she tells me. in the ninth grade we did experiments
using the same enzyme over and over
Mrs. Defonso asked “what does that tell you
about the enzyme?” and we were shitty kids
so she had to tell us “it means the enzyme isn’t used
in the reaction!”

i don’t believe in destiny but
i do in souls and enzymes

foxed

they say don’t let a fox guard the hen house but
what if the hens become foxes and the house is a fox
too? i was raised in the land of happy meals
and participation medals, baked in the wry distrust
that only a pair of eastern bloc transplants could instill.
as a mushroom haircutted child, rules were law
but only at home.
punch the other children if they started it! nuns
lie! even at five
no authority reigned without reason
it’s madness
it’s gold lettering on my grandpa’s ticket to Auschwitz

we’ve been here before
oh the smiles and complicated phrases
oh the anger and fire
and what can we do
but link arms and never turn our backs on the fox
or each other?

reroute

even if it could be worse
especially
if it could be worse
questioning and seeking don’t make you
ungrateful. spit on that word.
spit as they blow it out in sighs about timelines
and inconveniences
trust your heart, even if you only hear it
on sunday nights, whispering that the most dangerous
place to be is ‘not so bad’