Good Old Neon

I did well down in the basement,
feeling the soft aliveness of whatever

happy means, but of course I didn’t say this
to anybody. I spent all my time trying to think –

it more or less dictates its own miracles. I think,
and I know I tried.  I don’t think I remember

the real problem of touch, that there wasn’t much
of anything I wanted, deep down: an easy chair

and beat up old desk, crossed legs, tobacco, a baby,
a mortgage – a waste of time and money.  I don’t

mean you’re always playing chess with everybody
just to distract us.  I remember, at age nineteen,

I’d been totally loved, like a hula-hoop, a glass figurine,
the long, rushing, clumsy way I felt.  People could

enjoy me just like that. That one tiny instant not
ultimately important in the grand scheme of things,

so fast that fast isn’t even the right word.  I didn’t
feel quite right at the ocean.  That’s OK, it doesn’t

really matter; it’s not special at all.  I wanted to see
the tedious sun, watch all the dust settle around me.

Anything was possible, if I could make time
to think; I was going to wake up midstride.


Source: “Good Old Neon,” Oblivion.

LISA MANGINI holds an MFA from Southern Connecticut State University. She is the winner of the 2011 Connecticut Poetry Prize, and was named a semifinalist for the 2012 Codhill Press Chapbook Contest. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Weave, 2 Bridges Review, Knockout, Stone Highway Review, Louisiana Literature, and others. Her poetry collection, “Bird Watching at the End of the World,” is forthcoming from WordTech Communications in fall of 2014. She is the founding editor of Paper Nautilus, and teaches English composition and creative writing at handful of colleges across Connecticut.

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