How I live is not unlike how my brother lives.
Though he never leaves the house. How my sister lives. Running,
fancy coffees, a fully felt political activism. How my father lives.
Aging ungracefully, but happy with Fox News and Eagles records.
How I live is not unlike
the barista, the cashier, the lab assistant. Who didn’t want that job,
or did. And maybe I’m really just like the man who yelled when we stopped at the light-
and started getting out of the car because my mother wasn’t driving fast enough.
How I live is not unlike the meadow
outside my window, vast and strung with power lines. The box turtle who came out yesterday,
ate and retreated slowly. The tree above his den
that died this winter and came back. Neither smaller or bigger, but different.
And I can’t tell if that’s sad. That I’m just like the leaves
changing in the fall. Dying. Returning. If I’m just like the tar stains on the sidewalk, the
ink blots off a printer, one piece of gum in a 14-stick pack. I can’t tell
if it’s wonderful.
Summer Carrier, a full-hearted lover of obscure history, Ritz crackers and Spider-Man, is an aspiring writer whose favorite thing about all writing is it’s simultaneous nature: able to both compartmentalize the world and break down its barriers. She hopes this poem, her first work to be published, does just that.