Two Days Late

By Ami Watanabe

You are always early 

fueled by excess caffeine.

This body is concise --- 

a controlled, scheduled machine. 

Squares connect your regret:

the unopened condom

calendar blocks 

the sealed pink Carefree.

Objects that align the present and past, 

falling one by one 

like a bad tetris game

building a fortress of impenetrable entrapment.


Yet you live normally —

occasionally surfacing while suspended

behind the invisible wall of your own making. 

Exiled, you spin mindlessly on automatic

circulating between awareness and regret.   

You are reminded constantly:

Every bathroom trip 

Every cigarette 

Every drink 

becomes a pendulum decision swinging between what if and should

scrying the possible futures.


Underneath your smile 

and through each daily task

you wait hopefully



praying for salvation 

and chanting what if

desperately grasping 

chances like pockets of air 

between your clasped palms.


You sit expecting

Not even knowing if there is a fork in the road.

The irony of walking on the shadow of fenceposts 

swaying in the fluctuating edge of light 

the flickering images fencing you in. 

Your mistakes animate the walls of regret indelibly

a vivid map of a regrets

seen in hindsight so clearly.


Prior to arrival, 

your direction was cemented in your conscience

you knew for sure exactly what you’d do.

But this prescription for accidents has created an uncharted part of you.

The part of a cube that is hidden until turned into view.

Your future antidote refracts

Your safety blanket 

The escape hatch 

have all gone missing.

Now that you are approaching

never ever. 


Knocked up and over by the gravity of indecision 

toppled and defeated

before you even know the truth.  

Future parties dance in your head 

when you don’t know how many guests may arrive.

Idling in ignorance 

is a chosen coping luxury. 

A procrastinating approach to the heart stopping 

realization of living forever 

in retreat of permanence.