"A Confession" by Kat Giordano


There was this one guy in high school my friend

and I used to laugh about, the kind

who has something off about them

but not anything pathological or diagnosable,

so it felt okay at the time that he became

 

kind of a meme to us. His online presence

was the main object of our ridicule, his

Facebook feed boasting every goddamn detail

of his life. We watched the rise and fall

of a dozen different relationships with dark-haired girls

 

with just first and middle names who were also

a mess. My friend or I would begin online chats

in hysterics, and the other would check, validate

 

the cringe-inducing spectacle that was his life:

an amalgam of multi-paragraph confessions

of love, rants about billiards, walkthroughs he made

for whatever first-person shooter was popular

 

at the time. I wasn’t ashamed enough

when one day, he called me out for liking too many

of his posts in a row, which I did often and didn’t mean

one-hundred-percent ironically, because

I did like them, in my own snarky way. Instead

I scoffed at his bold accusation, took a screenshot,

and sent it to my friend so we could

‚Äč

laugh. We don’t do that so much anymore

but I can’t delete him. I’m still interested

in his daily life as a Sears sales guy, his

nebulous attempt at professional wrestling

for a living. I absorb every detail of his dumb life

and graft it, pathetically, to my own.

 

Leaving work today, I logged in and saw his latest 
update: he slept 18 hours, had some complex dream

about one of the many dark-haired women

of his past. Gently, he reassures the audience

that later today he’ll post a video summarizing

each gut-wrenching moment. I convince myself

I won’t watch, but my phone burns a hole

in my pocket as I’m walking home.

"New Year's Day" by Kat Giordano

 

i haven’t cried at all this year

and please don’t tell me what day

it is. i don’t know how long

it will last, only that today

is not the usual unmade bed

i wake up cried-out and sore in,

that what you need must be

begged from some brink or another

into existence, a punchline

at the end of pain, like

being waterboarded by your own life.

 

i don’t know what i’m saying except

i’m in love with everyone and afraid

of the weight of it, how when my body

vibrates at this frequency it so easily

turns me on. what would it mean

not to wait this time for what’s

after sadness, to steal the map

and fold those coasts closer

together like my own god?

 

i think i should just go to bed

more often. i think i should rip open,

turn the camera on the animal

i am. i think i should plunge myself

face-first into the tub now, stop counting,

let my lungs engorge as they will.

"Relatable Memes" by Kat Giordano

 

when you wake up every morning

in a glue trap that you laid yourself.

 

when the waitress asks you what you want

and you say, i want the days to stop

hiding behind these increasingly heavier curtains.

i want those i’ve deemed responsible

for protecting my heart to feel

guilty for sleeping on the job. i want everyone

i love to bloom but not this much

quicker than me, not all at once, not

if I end up by myself,

and nobody laughs

because nobody but you

is in on the joke.