I sat on the carpet and put my palms parallel to each other and I carefully slid my right shoe on, carefully my left shoe. A silent wish hit me. I sort of made a mental note so that the next time I see you I can talk to you about it, but only if I figure out what specifically I was wishing for, because this is so frustrating I don't know. Everything is only that vague sad feeling. I crept around collecting keys and phone and as I passed my dark reflection I thought okay. at how removed and cruel I was, like a sick person who is cruel because they are so sick, which, as anyone knows, makes sense. Nothing matters then. You do this, that, the desperation fogs a little, you can sleep until it's time to do the first whatever the next day, you stop caring which this or that way time passes. The sidewalk took better care of me than any professional I had seen, and the moon it's bizarre that it once held humans noticed me mouthing words, though there was no one up there, no one anywhere, I had gone hiding in the night. Even if there was someone, even if I was soon to be snatched from the shadows maybe life is meant to be that cruel. Golden shovel: “I wish I was only as cruel as / the first time I noticed / I was cruel” – Kaveh Akbar ____
Lauren Bender lives in Burlington, VT. Her work has appeared in IDK Magazine, The Collapsar, Gyroscope Review, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Yes Poetry, and others. You can find her on twitter @benderpoet.