SPENDING $50 ON A CANDLE COUNTS AS LIVING IN BROOKLYN
“but when will I get a literary agent?”
i whine aloud in a writers workshop
wiping garlic dip on my bike shorts
and pruning some tweets about cream pies.
i made a promise to myself in the 5th grade
that i wouldn’t grow up to be ordinary
worse, i’d grow up to desire fame
the happiest woman i know
is a dental hygienist who loves her dad.
i can never tell if i want to write a book
or just punch three men in the face
it’s hard to let the past go
when it’s the only thing that makes the present feel
interesting how am I supposed to mythologize a
online shopping is just buying vintage dresses
to try and recreate the days
when you had the allure of a girl in a vintage dress
the best years are behind you, etc.
but for $38.99 you can pretend
you’re drinking PBR and carrying around a notebook again.
IN GOOD LOVE FOR ONCE
last night we laughed until i couldn’t breathe
and i fell asleep hugging a plush axolotl
instead of Googling symptoms of emphysema
i know therapy is working
because these days instead of getting mad at my friends
i’ll sit in a park until i feel better than everyone else
i swear i’m like two hikes away
from wearing a carabiner in public.
recently i had a nightmare where i realized
that “normie” and “basic”
are just pejoratives for healthy
grassroots activism is everyone with a bad childhood
taking all the shit we missed out on
and collectively deeming it uncool.
i think i’ve waited too long be in good love,
to finally text “hello” in the daylight
still, if a sweaty man leers at me in Target
i smile back in the hopes his wife notices
just to feel like my old self again.
i’m scared if i let the past go
there will be nothing to me.
every song ever is about a girl and her old ways
but you make me feel like i can still be interesting
without hardwood floors or bad habits.
this weekend i watched the only good men i know
get married underneath dive bar decor
next to a heap of Italian cookies
you know you’re happy for someone
when you can take three shots in their kitchen
without making the entire night about your food allergies
and how you can’t remember what biscotti tastes like.
half the guest list last saw me
pissing outside a residence hall
you weren’t allowed to live in
unless you spoke French
or had purple hair and good grades.
college is about wearing a beanie and pretending to read
life is about wishing you actually did.
whenever a girl with a nose ring is nice to me
i feel like i’ve never listened to Twenty One Pilots
paradise is where no one cares about Instagram
you’re only uncool here if you don’t share your ranch
i want to live forever where the coasts don’t matter
and you can talk about art over a basket of wings.
downtown i check out my tits in a tobacco shop window
this city raised me in her own image
polluted and beautiful
sometimes i cross the river just to choke
this time it’s on laughter
my friends kiss like love is obvious
and the skyline swallows us whole.
Rachel Elizabeth is a writer & poet based in the absolutely glamorous city of Pittsburgh, PA. Her writing has been published in Lustery POV & The Belladonna Comedy. You can find her poems in Olney Mag or on a TGI Fridays napkin in the bottom of her purse. Twitter: @chaotic_sub; IG: @rachel_e_lizabeth.