August 18, 2023
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
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
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
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
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.
Write City Ezine is currently open for short story submissions but closed to poetry through 2023. See submission guidelines for further information.
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