How We Live

This is how we live.


Everybody needs a place to stay,


and there are places that need to be stayed in,


I’m not sure if it evens out.


We often move around to see if we end up in the same place


or in another place,


or somewhere in between—


when one of us wants something we work on it together,


other times we do the opposite,


like a counterweight.


Personally I’m going to move in with somebody as soon as I find the person who’s moving in with me,


we’re stocking up on hangers,


saving up,


storing up,


as if the season hasn’t even started yet—


this is where you say I am not mistaken.


Putting our things away where we know we’ll be able to find them as long as we know where to look,


we’re not even sure we’re doing our best:


it’s true, we often depend on avoidance,


living our lives at the expense of those we might have,


holding onto our ankles


to keep them from slipping away,


those who are suffering should pick up the phone right now.


Of course things are often under control until they start slipping out of control—


when you open wide and look inside


it’s dark inside,


just as you suspected,


it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re not giving anything up, wasn’t this Pascal’s idea?


For every victim there’s an injurer,


taxidermists prefer the term “mounting”, while taxonomists rely on subtypes and super-types—


it’s enough to be beautiful


as long as you’re beautiful enough.


When you need something it doesn’t mean you don’t need anything else.


Sometimes you put out your hand,


and it comes back to you rolled up in a ball—


you can’t just drop everything


or continue what you’re doing.


There are also people who don’t get along with each other, or get on each other and are shaken off,


separated like mittens in the wrong hands,


it’s a common problem,


there is nobody to turn to for help.


This is how we live.



Peter Leight lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.  He has previously published poems in Paris Review, AGNI, Antioch Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, FIELD, and other magazines.