The other day I was on the bus and I began to wonder what the world would be like if I was everyone and everyone else were me.

The bus stops. I stumble. I grab the rubber hand grip. The bus moves on.

I mean, I don’t want the whole world to be just like me, but what if our similarities are more than our differences? What if my worries, fears, concerns, self-doubt, self-contained excitement, hop-skip-and-a-jump glee is the exact same as that guy over there? What if my mind, literally my mind, my soul of souls, is in every single brain in the bus?

What if that guy over there is worrying about impressing his boss, just like I am? What if that girl in the priority seating broke her ankle because when I tripped the other day, she’s the version of me that fell?

Everything stops. Everything rotates. It spins and it spins and I hold onto the rubber hand grip again. What if I am everyone and everyone is me. What if we are all the same.

I want to reach out and say hello. I want to tell them it’s going to be okay. I want to look someone in the eyes. But they’re all looking down.

Just the same as me.

I woke up at 2am and googled acid reflux

because it felt, I guess, like my stomach

was eating itself alive looking for some comfort.


I googled anxiety.

But I guess I already knew.

Sometimes the walls close in like a trash compactor

but it just crunches up all my good thoughts

eats away at my better senses.

I clicked off my phone and a scream came from

the street, you know

the kind of a scream that never lends itself

to sidewalks.

Why aren’t we all in the streets, screaming, clawing

digging at ourselves


the church bell rings.

I. I think about

My dad without her

Her voice. Still here.

II. Children adrift in history

screaming in the hallways

while we stare into space

and wonder how they got there.

III. We make snowball cookies

white sugar floating to the kitchen floor.

IV: The phone rings and we know

it couldn’t be anyone we want to talk to.

I want to adopt the saddest, fattest, laziest, most unwanted, patchy, squeaky meowed, elderly, potentially diabetic cat you have ever seen.

I would call it Maury.

Maury sits in the window all day on his cushion thinking about the lives he used to have. Alice who fed him kibble. Charice who liked to dance to Beyonce in the shower. And the kid with no name who gave him a sad pat in the alleyway where I’d find him two days later.

Maury feels lucky for his cushion. Sometimes he thinks about pulling a paw out from beneath his belly to swat at a moth that wanders past, but he changes his mind. The moth makes its uncoordinated trip back to the corner of the blinds.

At the end of the evening we come home and Maury glances upwards at the sound of the keys jingling in the door. He looks down before we can see how much he cares that we’re home. Maury knows that love is a risky game so he shows us affection sparingly to keep us interested.

After dinner is made Maury rolls onto his back and gives a little mew. I drop some salmon skin in his mouth and he gives an accepting nod.

sometimes I have nightmares

about the smell of your hair dye

the gently pressed corners of your

pies – you never – used your own crusts –

but you called yourself betty homemaker with

a slightly maniacal laugh and

when you laughed you cried a little bit

on the inside

and the tears gently collected in the pit of your empty

starved for attention


salty and sloshing back and forth

as you sway in your little

floral print,