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Sometimes Life Feels Like Daytime TV,

ISSUE:  Summer 2020


like a game show or some other excuse
for selling toothpaste. Wish I could remember who said that, 
some writer describing how it feels when she can’t write,
nailing it, not that I’m not guilty of a certain mindlessness,
not that I don’t like the convenience of toothpaste,
of salmon already filleted in a vacuum-packed pouch,
of disposable razors and individually packaged
strawberry yogurt—of throwing it all away
whenever I feel like it. And to think—just that,
the mountains and mountains of trash—in the ocean, dumped 
where we can’t see it—black and brown people
living around it like company towns, working it like a 9-to-5. 
And what would it take for me to try the co-op’s bulk toothpaste, 
to remember to bring my reusable bags,
to own it—the deluge of bottles and baby dolls,
of Easter baskets and string bikinis. Or little Buddhas
like the one I found the other day while vacuuming
—tiny burgundy Buddha I have no memory of buying
or being given, wondering where it came from
and then noticing my neighbor out the window
curiously hoisting his dog into the air, the twentysomething 
who’d offered his shovel when my piece of crap broke,
the dog not small, some kind of retriever mix,
yet my neighbor was lifting her like a father
lifts his child to see the moon
or some particular constellation,
holding her there for a good twenty seconds 
before folding the animal into his arms 
and cradling her like a baby,
the dog looking around as if embarrassed, 
but the guy just standing there 
and me watching him, 
thumbing that piece of plastic. 



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