“Some of the Reasons” by Dana Yost

Some of the Reasons

By Dana Yost
 

I am still alive.

Some days, this surprises me,

like when I pass a mirror

and see full flesh, dark hair

and spectacles upon my nose.

That’s me, I might say,

as if it could be someone else.

That’s not the point.

This is: maybe there wouldn’t have been anyone

in that mirror.

I could have been under dirt,

mortician’s clean-up job not perfectly

resolving the gashes up my arms,

the lipstick of my mother’s kiss

to the forehead

long faded to something like a stain

on a filthy found-on-a-café-floor napkin.

But here I am.

I wave to myself,

and it waves back.

No trick mirror,

no time machine.

But science, faith, sunshine, time.

Wife, son.

The chance of stirring a heron

from the fringes of Bear Lake.

Pumpkin pie, melting ice cream.

Neighbor’s little white dog, yapping like just-married tin cans

tied to someone’s bumper flapping down the road.

Then silence: it’s licking my nose.

A brown-haired singer on a Sunday morning

with her acoustic guitar,

voice true and longing,

hymns

so spare

there is beauty

in the silence

between the notes.

“Six Letters That Shouldn’t Need to be Written” by Kaylin Tlam

Six Letters That Shouldn’t Need to be Written

By Kaylin Tlam

 

Dear Love,

You missed me again. I’m thinking your aim has gone to

shit since we last met. Maybe you should think about

buying bigger arrows. Or at least take some lessons

from Robin Hood. Maybe then you’ll hit something,

and it’ll stay hit. It won’t be gone in two days like

it didn’t happen in the first place.

 

Dear Kid-Sitting Next to Me in Wellness,

I still remember your face when they told us the box

we drew in on the right was our true selves.

The way your eyes widened,

as I drew an alien that was bent to exterminate the human race.

For that one moment, filled with awkward laughter,

You believed it, didn’t you?

 

Dear Prince Charming,

You really like messing with kid’s minds.

Because of you, Mary won’t fight for herself.

She thinks that some ‘boy wonder’ will do it for her.

Little Timmy tries to take on a monster.

He gets himself killed before Mary can run home in tears.

It’s times like these I wonder why people say fairy tales aren’t real

Dear Blackbird,

Why don’t people notice you more? You’re lucky.

The way you can fly anywhere, land anywhere, and people forgive you for it.

Even when you and your friends are digging through my trash,

And root out all my empty bottles and cans of cheap ravioli,

I can still forgive you for the litter you leave behind.

Nothing’s quite so black, or as beautiful as you.

Is it such a crime if I sing along, too?

 

Dear Girl Next Door,

You’re an idiot. Falling in love with a door-slamming psycho like him?

What is wrong with you? You have to realize that he’s not one to hang around.

One day, you’ll say something wrong; you’ll convince him you’re not as

forgiving with his obnoxious self-loathing as he thinks, and he’ll be out the door.

He knows he’s not worth the annoyance.

He’s not worth dealing with his madness, his darkness, or his mood swings.

What this is, what you think this is, isn’t as real as the wrenching of your gut,

Or the walls shuddering when he leaves home for the last time.

What makes you think you can fight off his past?

What makes you think you can save him from himself?

 

Dear Nerdy Fantasies,

Why can’t I live in you, rather than this apocalyptic apartment?

Why haven’t I gotten my letter to Hogwarts? Why hasn’t the Doctor

appeared in his blue box to take me away to the other side of the universe?

Why hasn’t my X-Gene kicked in, and made me as invincible as Wolverine,

so I don’t have to worry about dying, or getting hurt anymore?

Why is it that I can only visit you when I’m supposed to be growing up?