Good Me Attempts to Neutralize, Rescue, or Otherwise Stifle Bad Me
by Lindsey Alexander
Oh ne’er-do-well, be quiet now.
Pick up the splinters from your over-
the-falls barrel—I’ll save each chip
for kindling later. I’ve seen the feats
you’ve death-defied to death. If you must
get a tattoo, get a tattoo
of a grid; on it we are each a dot,
parabola between us. We’re never
more than rise-over-run away
from that downward slope
you reel us over. Have one more hit
and go to bed with it. I’ll unpack
your suitcase while you’re sleeping.
I’ll fold your clothes to boot. I’ll leave
Do not press the Do-Not-Press-
This-Button Button. Brush your hair.
If the doorbell rings, don’t answer as Lindsey.
I wonder if you wonder if it’s bad
that there’s the two of us in here:
you with your Bowie knife, me
only darning needle–equipped.
I do. Think it’s bad, I mean.
Lindsey Alexander‘s poems appear in Crazyhorse, Colorado Review, and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among other magazines. In 2014, she was a scholar at the month-long NEH Institute “Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor.”
Image: Niagara Falls, by William Morris Hunt. Used with permission under creative commons.