I didn’t know I wanted to be right until I was wrong

and I was so wrong
I was the color navy blue,

which is both true neutral and the color of being an idiot.
It’s the color I wore every day

in junior high school
before I realized I looked like a lost sister in some religious cult,

arms stapled to my sides like broken rudders.
An Equine therapist on a long distance phone call

said it’s okay to be stupid
because the horses will still like you.

What makes me happy?
The cat, the first fifteen minutes after yoga

when I’m feeling self-righteous and balanced,
also eating a whole cake,

the sound of a piano in another room, any room.
I almost left my college boyfriend

for a woman who played the piano so beautifully
in a Scottish farm house

it made up for all she said about art.
Really, I would give up the whole internet

if it made the world better. No Tik Tok,
but fried green tomatoes, a warm bed, a nice hat for everyone.

My island in Animal Crossing has only apples,
but my friend came to visit

on an airplane manned by a Dodo bird.
She brought me six peaches, grown herself.

I don’t see anyone anymore,
but I remember how my father used to walk downstairs,

hand on the wall, at two in the morning
to rub my shoulders,

because I could not, would not sleep.
I might never sleep again.

My dreams are all about getting older, growing into someone
who could be passed on the street.

Maybe if I’m good enough,
I will open a door so far back in time

that I will become a goddess, neither right nor wrong,
just pencil to paper. This, in a time before gods.

Mari Pack is a writer in West Philly. She graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter College in 2020. Her poems have been published in Pigeon Pages, Poetry International, Broad Street, and Solar, and her poetry chapbook, Description of a New World (Dancing Girl Press) came out in 2019. She was a finalist for the 2020 C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize.

Appears In

Issue 19

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